Outstanding Administrator Award

Outstanding Administrator of the Quarter:

Pete Van Houten

Dean – Social and Behavioral Sciences

“I have witnessed firsthand the tremendous respect and kindness that Pete pays to his subordinates. He is kind to a fault and by giving respect he receives respect in kind from those who work with him. He genuinely cares about his subordinates and colleagues.”

Heather Owens

Student Success Advisor

“Not only did Heather’s outstanding efforts in recruitment and retention pay dividends by getting dozens more students registered for Casper College, she was also about to secure thousands of dollars worth of books for the student’s in her Single Parent Program.”

Eric Valdez

Public Relatons Art Director

“Eric Valdez is one of those individuals that exceeds our expectations. Eric has an extremely great sense of humor and at the same time always presents himself in a professional manner.”

Chelse DePaolo-Lara

Director of Adult Education and Lifelong Learning

“Chelse has never displayed anger or made irrational decisions. She always puts the needs of the students and her subordinates before her own. She is a solid sounding board and her teammates’ greatest champion. She believes in building great teams to accomplish goals that stretch our abilities (in a good way). Chelse is ethical, truthful, and highly deserving of this award.”




The Casper College Outstanding Administrator Award is designed to recognize an administrator who demonstrates an outstanding service reputation. This would include: job performance, knowledge, effectiveness, character, communication, cooperation, judgment and interactions. The nominee must have completed a minimum of two years of service as an administrator at Casper College and have not received the honor during the previous five years. Administrators may not nominate themselves for this award.

Below are details about the

  • quarterly award
  • annual award



Quarterly award winners will receive a certificate, coffee mug and $25 coffee gift card (based on fund availability). They will also have their photo taken with the President, and be recognized on the website and at a Board of Trustees meeting.


Call for Quarterly Nominations announced across campus:

  • Quarter 1: opens June 30; closes July 15; announced July 31
  • Quarter 2: opens October 1; closes October 15; announced October 31
  • Quarter 3: opens January 1; closes January 15; announced January 31
  • Quarter 4: opens March 1; closes March 15; announced March 31

*Nominees will roll over for three subsequent quarters if not selected and new nominations will be requested in addition.

Quarterly Outstanding Administrator Winners (2022-2023)

  • Quarter 1: Chelse DePaolo-Lara – Director of Adult Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Quarter 2: Eric Valdez-Public Relations Art Director
  • Quarter 3: Heather Owens – Student Success Advisor
  • Quarter 4: Pete Van Houten – Dean Social and Behavioral Sciences


The four Quarterly Outstanding Administrators will move forward for the nomination of Annual Outstanding Administrator. The Annual Outstanding Administrator for the year receives $1,000 (based on fund availability), an award plaque, and will be recognized on the website and at the end of year Retirement and Recognition event.

Timeline and Additional Criteria:

Public comment addressing the following questions will be called for starting on April 1st and will close April 15th:

  1. How does nominee display outstanding professionalism?
  2. How does the nominee interact with others in an outstanding manner?
  3. What traits and qualities have you seen since their nomination of quarterly outstanding administrator?
Nomination Process
  • Administrative Staff, classified staff, and faculty can nominate an administrator for this award.
  • Please download and complete the Nomination Form and submit to Corey Peacock, UU 404, by the stated deadlines.

Outstanding Administrators

  • Chelse DePaolo-Lara [2023]
    Director of Adult Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Brian Clark [2022]
    Network Coordinator
  • Linda Toohey [2021]
    Vice President of Student Services
  • Joanne Theobald [2020]
    Director of Counseling
  • Tracy Hasely [2019]
    Director, Student Health Services
  • Linda Nichols [2018]
  • Melissa Stahley-Cummings [2017]
    Director, Assessment
  • Lisa Goss [2016]
    Veteran and Hathaway Scholarship Coordinator
  • Leanne Loya [2015]
    Student Success Counselor
  • Donna Sonesen [2014]
    Director, Early Childhood Learning Center
  • Teresa Wallace [2013]
    Director, Counseling
  • Robyn Landen [2012]
    Director, Financial Services/Controller
  • Alison McNulty [2011]
    Registrar/Director, Admissions and Student Records
  • Lois Davis [2010]
    Dean, Educational Resources
  • Kim Byrd [2009]
    Student Success Coordinator
  • Kevin Anderson [2007]
    Western History/Automation Specialist
  • Janet de Vries [2006]
    Director, Career Services
  • Barb Meryhew [2005]
    Director, Housing/Student Activities
  • Mark Robinson [2004]
    Campus Security Director
  • Jim Ochiltree [2003]
    Vice President Student Services
  • Ron Mathisen [2002]
    Buildings Maintenance Supervisor
  • Shirley Jacob [2001]
    Grants Coordinator
  • Linda (King) Toohey [2000]
    Director, Admission Services
  • Lynn Fletcher [1999]
    Registrar/Coordinator Admissions and Student Records
  • William Landen [1997]
    Director, College Relations
  • Darry Voigt [1996]
    Director, Student Financial Aid
  • Jenny Black [1995]
    Admissions Coordinator
  • Russell Poppen [1994]
    Director, Student Placement/Career Services
  • R. Lynnette Anderson [1993]
    Director, College Library
  • Garth Shanklin (1992)
    Director, Counseling
  • Stan McDowell [1991]
    Director, Intramurals
  • Paul E. Hallock [1990]
    Director, Planning and Development
  • A. LeRoy Strausner [1989]
    Dean of Students