North Central Missouri College “Pirate’s Ball” honors three on Saturday evening

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The North Central Missouri College Foundation March 26th recognized three individuals who attended Trenton Junior College or North Central Missouri College. Distinguished alumni John Hunolt, Janet Lake, and Nick Sottler were honored at the Pirates Ball. NCMC Athletic Director Nate Gamet introduced each honoree.

John Hunolt graduated from TJC in 1971. He worked in Ottumwa, Iowa as a State of Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation counselor for more than 36 years. He and his wife Sylvia received the Indian Hills Community College Foundation Outstanding Retiree Award in 2018.

NCMC Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jeremy Esry wrote a nomination for Hunolt as a distinguished alumnus. Gamet quoted Esry as saying he recently got to know Hunolt through teams playing at Indian Hills.



Hunolt said he lived close to where NCMC is when he was growing up. He added that it was great to see how the college has grown and has been a “tremendous asset” for Trenton.

Hunolt called himself “a strong supporter of community colleges.”



Hunolt said it was a privilege to be honored March 26th.

Janet Lake received her GED through NCMC after leaving her public education, getting married, and having children. She completed her Associate’s in General Studies in 1996 and Bachelor’s degree from Graceland University through NCMC in 1998. After her graduation, she accepted a preschool teaching position at Pleasant View R-6 and has been there since.

Previous Distinguished Alumna Phyllis Jackson wrote a nomination for Lake. Gamet said Jackson wrote that Lake embodied what NCMC has come to represent in the community.



Lake attended the Pirates Ball, but Jackson spoke on her behalf. Jackson quoted Lake as saying she did not know if she would have found her passion for teaching without NCMC.



Jackson quoted Lake as saying March 26th’s honor was more than she ever expected, and it was “a wonderful, exciting surprise.”

Nick Sottler attended TJC in 1970 to 1971. He is a contract employee at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and joined the agency’s college in 2002.

Sottler entered the United States Marine Corps as a commissioned officer in January 1976 and retired in 1996. Before joining NGA, he was a contractor at the Marine Corps’s Battle Staff Training Facility working in the Combat Modeling and Simulation Branch.

Voyage Fund donors Gary and Meredith Black wrote a nomination for Sottler. Gamet quoted the Blacks.



Sottler said TJC started his educational and professional life.

He noted that there is no such thing as a self-made person, and we are dependent on others for who we are and who we become. He believes knowledge and education are important.



Sottler added that NCMC is an institution that works to better itself every day.

NCMC President Doctor Lenny Klaver acknowledged that there had been a lot of progress at the college because of the good people there and supporters. He said with continued support, the college will continue to grow.

Magician Todd Lamanske provided entertainment at the Pirates Ball March 26th. His performance involved audience participation. Gamet noted Lamanske had performed on Penn and Teller: Fool Us and for President George W. Bush.

The Pirates Ball was a fundraiser for NCMC’s Voyage Fund, an annual giving campaign to raise unrestricted funds to help meet the unmet needs of the college.

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Jennifer Thies

Jennifer’s interest in radio began at a young age. She started as a news reporter at KTTN in January 2017, but previously worked almost a year and a half as an on-air announcer and with news at the NPR affiliate KXCV/KRNW, which serves Northwest Missouri. Jennifer was born and raised in St. Joseph, Missouri. She received a Bachelor of Science in Mass Media: Broadcast Production with an Emphasis in Audio Production from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.

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