|Penn Valley President and Blue River Interim President Joe Seabrooks (center), congratulates Mary Simpson (left) and Carroll O'Neal (right) at the Women's Foundation's Celebration of Women Publication Party.|
Metropolitan Community College is fortunate to have many dedicated, hard-working and compassionate veteran faculty and staff members. MCC-Blue River Reading Instructor Mary Simpson and MCC-Penn Valley Associate Dean of Students Carroll O'Neal are two such respected leaders.
Simpson has served MCC for 35 years. While O'Neal has stood at the helm for 45 years. Both women were recently honored at the Celebration of Women hosted by the Women's Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Each year the Women's Foundation publishes a commemorative journal to recognize and celebrate area women and girls. Since 1993 it has included more than 2,300 tributes to remarkable women and girls. Joe Seabrooks, Penn Valley president and Blue River interim president, serves as a board member with the Women's Foundation.
A portion of Simpson's tribute reads:
When asked about her years of working at MCC, Mary stated that she has been "blest to work with people of different campuses and to have good relationships with them." She also stated that she "enjoys the relationships with peers and also enjoys working with students…and the relationship with the students." Pride comes to her eyes when she relates the story of a student who was reading Dave Pelzer's A Child Called, "It" as an assignment for Mary's class when the student's son inquired what she was doing. The student started reading aloud, and her other son joined them. For the next two hours, the student read aloud to her two children. The student had never read a book before, but now wants to pursue an education degree. Mary states, "I encourage students to reach their highest potential, and I believe in them." As a faculty member, Mary has been a quiet inspiration to us all. She never shies away from taking time to meet a student's needs or to help students succeed.
A portion of O'Neal's tribute reads:
It’s not your unwavering commitment to MCC-Penn Valley. Your 45 years of service proves you are dedicated to serving the thousands of students who have walked our hallowed halls.It’s not your devotion to faculty and staff. You are a resource to all seeking to help students achieve their dreams.
It’s not just what you do, it’s the way you do it. Carroll, you strut your stuff with the best of them. Your shoe collection is legendary. Whether patent leather, peep toe, stiletto or strappy – you’ve worn them all and worn them well!
Congratulations to these awesome women!