WKCTC Honors Careers of Retirees Representing Over 100 Years of Service
WKCTC MEDIA RELEASE: Paducah, KY (04/29/2017) — West Kentucky Community and Technical College recently honored four retirees with a combined service to the college and its students of over 100 years. The retirees were recognized during an awards ceremony at the college Friday.
John Carrico, WKCTC's vice president of administrative services, will retire after 33 years at the college. A 1978 graduate of the University of Kentucky with an accounting degree, Carrico worked as an internal auditor at his alma mater from 1984-1990. Prior to this position, he served as the assistant audit manager at the State Auditor of Public Accounts Office for six years.
Carrico has served on the college's leadership team since 1990. Over the past three decades, he oversaw the changing landscape of the college's campus and the construction and/or renovation of more than eight buildings, including the Allied Health Building, the Emerging Technology Center, Paducah School of Art and Design campus, the Inland Logistics and Marine Institute and the Skilled Craft Training Center.
"This higher education journey has been a great one. I have been able to hopefully make a difference in a positive way for the thousands of students who have crossed through our institution's doors," said Carrico. "I am truly blessed to have worked with many great colleagues and friends these many years who have mentored me and supported me along the way. WKCTC will always have a place in my heart, as it is the best in the nation."
Carrico has volunteered with many organizations within the community including the Mayfield Rotary Club, St. Jerome Finance Committee, Knights of Columbus Council #1418, the St. Jerome School 1909 Renovation Committee, and one of his favorites, the Fancy Farm Picnic Committee.
A former nurse and healthcare education, Dr. Tena Payne, has served as WKCTC's vice president of academic affairs since 2006. She earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Murray State University in 1976 and a master's degree in nursing from the University of Evansville in 1985. She earned a doctorate in education from the University of Kentucky in 2000.
Dr. Payne began her nursing career in 1971 as a full-time nurse aide. Upon completing her nursing degree, she worked in various healthcare positions including a childbirth educator at Western Baptist Hospital and a nurse at Lourdes Hospital.
In August 1985, she accepted her first position as a nurse educator at then Paducah Community College. She worked in the nursing division as a faculty member until 1992 when she became the dean of nursing. In 1997, she served on the Kentucky Board of Nursing, serving as president from 1999-2001.
Dedicated to the success of students and serving the community for the past 32 years, Dr. Payne has also served on the college's leadership team since 2006 and participated with the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Paducah, the American Heart Association the Yeiser Art Center and the American Cancer Society. She said she also never plans to stop advocating for the importance of education and WKCTC.
"I have had a fulfilling and diverse career that began with nursing as a foundation," Dr. Payne said. "It has been a wonderful opportunity to develop relationships and make a difference in many lives."
Peggy Block began working at the college in 1990 as a physical therapist assistant instructor. She has been the dean of the Allied Health and Personal Services division since 2003, and has served as the PTA program coordinator for 25 years.
Earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky in 1974 and a master's degree in physical therapy from the University of Indianapolis in 1996, and working at WKCTC for 27 years, Block has continued to advocate for students at WKCTC and around the state to help educate physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.
She has served in various capacities including as chair of the Kentucky State Board of Physical Therapy, item writer for Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy and Jurisprudence writer for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. She is currently serving as a delegate from Kentucky to the American Physical Therapy Association House of Delegates that meet annually to make decisions on issues that may have far-reaching implications for the association and for the physical therapy profession.
"I have been blessed with two careers as a physical therapist and a teacher. Both involve service and have been rewarding," said Block. "I'm looking forward to the next stage in my life and where it will take me."
Paul Housholder, associate professor in the welding technology program, will retire from the college after 17 years of service. He brought a wealth of welding experience to the college and has shared his expertise with the students at WKCTC to help prepare them for the workforce.
"Students have always been the number one reason for being a teacher," said Housholder. "It's been great gratification to see students and learn, develop and leave with confidence."
Before accepting his position at the college, Housholder worked as the welding instructor at the Paducah Area Technology Center, as a welder and fabricator at Walker Boat Yard and as an ironworker. He also holds numerous welding certifications including those from the ASME, CWI, and CWE.
Housholder was an integral part of WKCTC's accreditation to become an accredited test facility (ATF) for the American Welding Society. The college is one of only four accredited ATF testing facilities for the American Welding Society in Kentucky. WKCTC joined more than 100 U.S. and international test facilities. Housholder said, "nationally certified welders have an even better chance of securing high demand, high demand jobs, and that's important for our students."
West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) has been recognized four consecutive times by The Aspen Institute as an Aspen Prize Top 10 Community College and twice as a Finalist with Distinction for providing students with strong job training and continuing higher education opportunity, for achieving high completion and transfer rates, and for providing strong employment results for its graduates.