April 28, 2023

Cowley honors retirees; Arnett and Owens receive awards at ceremony

Frank Arnold, Jody Arnett, Marlys Cervantes, and Julie Rhoads

Cowley College took time to honor four upcoming retirees with a reception Thursday in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.

The four retirees have a combined 92 years of service and dedication to Cowley College. Each retiree had a presenter at the reception and then had an opportunity to speak. 

Jenette Hanna, Director of Human Resources, presented each retiree with a gift and a customized limestone rock. Cowley College president Dr. Michelle Schoon congratulated the retirees and thanked them for their years of service. 

Retirees honored on Thursday, and their presenters were: 

Jody Arnett, 29 years – presenter Holly Harper

Marlys Cervantes, 23 years – presenter Amy McWhirt

Frank Arnold, 23 years – presenters Sarah Mathews and Holly Benton

Julie Rhoads, 17 years – presenter Dr. Michelle Schoon

Arnett, who has spent 29 years at Cowley, also received the Ben LeClair Staff Excellence Award.

To honor and remember LeClair’s legacy, the college accepted nominations for the award. Exhibiting excellence in the four core values of Cowley College, Arnett was honored to receive this recognition.

“This award is very special because I knew Benny,” Arnett said. “He was a special person to me, and I genuinely appreciate this award.”

Benny Joe “Ben” LeClair was a long-time employee of Cowley College who died on February 7, 2011. He was a valuable staff member who was dedicated to the continual pursuit of excellence by embracing the four Core Values of Cowley College. LeClair performed his daily duties with integrity and a smile and led by example, as does Arnett.

Criminal Justice Program Director Frank Owens was then named the Bill and Judy Docking Faculty Achievement Award recipient. 

Owens was humbled to receive the award, which comes with a $2,000 stipend to be paid over two years.

“I consider Cowley family,” Owens said. “There is so much talent here, and I plan to use you all as inspiration.”

Rama Peroo | Director of Institutional Communication
Cowley College
125 S. 2nd Street
Arkansas City, KS 67005