As the semester winds down for Colby Community College, students and staff will take a few weeks off and return in January. However, 2019 is the year campus security officer John Cersovsky can enjoy an extended holiday break. He is retiring at the end of December.

Cersovsky began his role in 1995 and remained the only full-time security officer employed by the college. It all began when the dean of students at the time, Dr. Gary Schultz, responded to student requests to increase security. Cersovsky got the job and now laughs at his first day.

"They told me, 'Here's your key, and here's your office.'"

A graduate of the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, Cersovsky worked for the Thomas County Sheriff's Department before landing at CCC. He said one of the biggest challenges was getting familiar with higher education. He reached out to other institutions and spent some time training on other campuses. Today, the position requires 40 hours of continuing education each year.

Cersovsky, raised in Colby and a graduate of Colby High School, has seen a lot of changes over the years.

"I didn't have a computer when I started, and there was a lot of paperwork. Now, we can do a lot of the reports online."

In retirement, he said he'll miss his co-workers and the students.

"I didn't take the job to be popular, but I enjoy getting to know the students. I've seen a lot of situations. We dealt with the serious issues, but also saw our share of humor and other issues that weren't criminal in nature."

Cersovsky feels he is exiting while the college is on solid footing.

"The current administration has put us on a positive path," he said. "There are many policies in place now that address student issues, and the college is being run as good as it ever has."