Colby Community College adult education instructor Kathleen Hager was named the contract staff employee of the quarter at the Norton Correctional Facility.
In her role, Hager helps the college's adult education and college students with education planning, career planning, financial aid, and their post-release transition.
"I enjoy my job and helping others take a step to a new life and all of its possibilities," she said.
Born at Blytheville Air Force Base in Arkansas, Hager brings her diverse experiences to the classroom after living in Germany, Guam, and multiple states in the U.S.
"I think anyone who has worked with Kathy would agree this is a well-deserved honor," said CCC Norton Correctional Facility Program Coordinator Brandon Gay. "In her short time with the college, she has had an extremely positive impact on our students and is a wonderful representative of the college at NCF."
When asked about previous awards, Hager said she was the employee of the year at her last job but deflects any individual praise.
"I don't really follow these things because it's never just me. It's 'us.' The great people I work with make good things possible."
A graduate of CCC and Fort Hays State University, she benefited from outreach classes to reach her postsecondary goals.
"Completing my four-year degree was very important to me. When I moved to Kansas, I found out that several courses I took in California did not transfer. I was so happy that Colby Community College offered outreach classes at Norton Community High School. I could take all the classes I needed to complete my associate degree and transfer to FHSU. It was a wonderful experience to walk across the stage and get my degree with my father and son both watching."
Hager and her husband Jeff have three children; son Nick and his wife Chaise, son Dillon, and daughter Erica and her husband Jeff. They also have three grandchildren, Carson, Kayce, and Christopher.
Away from work, the couple enjoys traveling.
"We have gone to some beautiful places," Kathleen said. "My husband appreciates how all great adventures begin with a pack of Twizzlers on the center console!"