GWC Staff And Faculty Awards Announced At Annual Appreciation Breakfast, Wes Bryan And Retirees Receive Warm Sendoff

Golden West College hosted its annual Staff and Faculty Appreciation Breakfast on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Over 190 GWC employees were in attendance, as President Wes Bryan announced the following award recipients for 2018:

  • Esteban Barrera: Employee of the Year
  • Rick Hicks: Manager of the Year
  • Denise Bon: Charlie Sianez Exceptional Service Award
  • Scott Taylor: Teacher of the Year (Previously announced)
  • Kristin Widman: Academic Senate Award for Teaching Excellence (Previously announced)


Wes and Danielle with Employee of the year 2108, Esteban

L to R: GWC President Wes Bryan, 2018 GWC Employee of the Year Esteban Barrera, Danielle Heinbuch.


President Bryan also announced the following faculty, classified and manager retirees:

Faculty Retirees

  • Jaima Bennett / 19 years
  • Michele Nordeman / 19 years
  • Michael Shaughnessy / 33 years
  • Jane Smith / 32 years
  • Teresa Speakman / 14 years

Classified Retirees

  • Becky Bernard / 21 years
  • Trish Brown / 21 years
  • Adele Dick / 19 years
  • Leeanne Hill / 37 years
  • Karen Kuehner / 37 years
  • Christana Montes / 23 years
  • Sherrill Spencer / 12 years
  • Cheryl Tittle / 28 years
  • Susan Wong / 12 years
  • Ann Yarchin / 15 years

Manager Retirees

  • Debbie Bales / 16 years
  • Sharon Jazwiecki / 33 years


Saran and Wes with 2018 Manager of the Year Rick

L to R: CDMA President Rupa Saran, 2018 GWC Manager of the Year Rick Hicks, GWC President Wes Bryan.


A special video tribute to President Bryan was shown to the room of Rustlers, starting off with a highlight reel created by retiree Debbie Bales, listing a set of truly impressive figures. The video said, “Over the course of Wes’ presidency, he has delivered over 500 speeches, posed for over 6,500 photos, attended 5,568 meetings, danced for over 30 hours, spent most 4th of Julys in a parade, answered over 3,154,261 emails, attended over 1200 events, started the rebuilding of GWC, walked 1,154 miles on campus (2,304,000 steps!), and he did it all with a smile and good humor.” The video also featured heartfelt messages from several GWC employees and departments, wishing President Bryan good luck in his retirement, and thanking him for his commitment to the college for the past 40 years.


President Bryan thanked the staff and faculty for the time they’ve shared with him, and for the work they’ve done together to help students achieve their educational goals. “You are so wonderful, you make this school what it is,” said Bryan. “It’s been a pleasure working here. Every one of you – you’ve brought out the best in me, and I hope I’ve brought out the best in you.” Looking ahead, President Bryan pledges to volunteer at the GWC Native Garden, and says the college will always be in his heart. Closing the event, he added, “Go forward Golden West, don’t look back, go forward.”


Wes with The Charlie Sianez Service award 2018, Denise

L to R: 2018 Charlie Sianez Exceptional Service Award winner Denise Bon, and GWC President Wes Bryan.


A photo gallery from the event can be found at To watch the full video featuring messages from GWC staff to our retirees, including President Bryan, please visit