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Jackie BatlinerJackie Batliner (KCKCC photo)
Jackie Batliner came to Kansas City Kansas Community College as a student in 1983 – and never left.
The college’s Staff Employee of the Year for 2013, Batliner earned her associate degree in December of 1985, started as a floating secretary the next month and now is the driving force for KCKCC’s monster Adult Education Program and GED Testing.
“I began as an instructor in adult education in the spring of 1987 and from the very beginning, Jackie was the go-to person for the entire department,” said Rosemary Lischka, director of Continuing Education and Community Services.
Batliner’s primary responsibilities are maintaining the data base for the Adult Education and GED Testing programs but she’s taken her position to a higher level. In order to work with persons whose first language is not English, she learned “just enough Spanish to get along,” she said. “I took Spanish I and II in high school and two other courses (Conversational Spanish and Command Spanish for Secretaries and Receptionists) while working at the college.”
She’s also become certified in the Kansas Board of Regents’ adult education assessment system (CASAS Assessment System), and thus is able to do analyses as she enters the data.
“The Adult Education data base is extremely complex, requiring entering of many pieces of data for more than 800 students,” Lischka said. “With her thorough understanding, however, she is able to analyze it as it is entered. For instance, if she finds an incorrect post-test has been administered, she immediately contacts the instructor so that the correct test can be re-administrated, thus saving the director time and program funding since we are penalized for incorrect testing.”
The GED Testing also requires extensive time and paper work. Pre-tests are administrated twice a month and the GED test once a month. “We take a maximum of 16 for the pre-test and have about 10 a month take the GED,” she said.
Batliner has seen countless changes in her 28 years at KCKCC. A student of Helene Hall in the Office Education program, she began working when typewriters and adding machines were the main office tools before transitioning into the computer era where she took it upon herself to learn both Excel and Access in order to produce higher quality and more efficient work. “She’s always been able to create better ways to do things and does mountains of work each day with no complaints,” Lischka said. “I’m sure no one who does not work closely with her has any idea how much she accomplishes.”
A 1983 graduate of Bishop Ward, Batliner was recruited by coach Nancy Allen to play softball and ended up playing volleyball as well in her two years at KCKCC.
“I had one course to finish up in the fall and had just finished when my brother passed away that December,” she recalled. “I wasn’t doing much and a friend called and said a floater secretary’s job was open and I applied. I really had fun doing it. It was mostly in admissions microfilming everything but I did get to move around in other divisions.”
Today, she shares an office with coordinator Elyse Max in a Community Education and Community Services division with Lischka, Larry Hill and until recently, Carla Pestock. “We really get along well as a group,” Batliner said. “It’s like a family, a major part of the job.” She’s worked under five deans, Deb Clough, Jean Walker, Lori Trumbo, Sue Courtney and currently Marvin Hunt.
“Jackie is an outstanding ambassador for KCKCC because of how she treats everyone she comes in contact,” Lischka said. “Others in the CEB know that they can count on her to assist with anything or everything that needs to be done – answering phones, assisting with projects, waiting on customers and dealing with students.”
Married 21 years, she and her husband John have three children, John, 19, a sophomore at KCKCC; Brooke, 15, a sophomore at Bishop Ward; and Colin, 9, a third grader at St. Patrick’s elementary school. All are heavily involved in sports, which occupies much of their parents’ time away from work.
“They keep us young,” she said. “Colin is involved in everything, baseball, basketball and soccer; Brooke plays soccer; and John is playing indoor soccer after playing one year here at KCKCC.”
“If someone were to ask me what the best part of my job is, I would have to say it has been working with Jackie Batliner,” said Lischka in nominating Batliner for Staff Employee of the Year. “She is such a positive influence, comes to working with a positive attitude and is eager to learn new things in the form of professional development or self-directed learning. She truly loves this college and wants to do whatever is necessary to make it a great place to go to school and which to work.”