NISOD Award Winners

NISOD’s Excellence Awards recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. NISOD is the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning and leadership at community and technical colleges.

In 1989, in connection with a University of Texas at Austin national study of teaching excellence, NISOD hosted its first ceremony honoring NISOD Excellence Award recipients. The annual event has since become the largest gathering that recognizes the contributions and achievements of community and technical college faculty, administrators and staff.

“Student success is a focus and priority for all of us at Yavapai College, and it’s wonderful to be able to recognize faculty and staff who exemplify this focus in their day-to-day activities,” Dr. Penny Wills, Yavapai College president said. “It sends a good message to students and potential students, as well.”

“Recognizing those individuals who have contributed to student success and their colleges’ mission is something we look forward to doing each year,” said Dr. Edward J. Leach, NISOD’s executive director. “The extraordinary work of these men and women includes not only what they do for their students and colleagues, but what they do for the communities in which they live and work. We’re honored to be able to play a part in celebrating their achievements.”

Excellence Award recipients will be celebrated during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence in Austin, Texas later this year. During the Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration, held in conjunction with NISOD’s annual conference, each Excellence Award recipient receives a specially cast, pewter medallion hung on a burnt-orange ribbon.


Created in 1978, NISOD is a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning and leadership at community and technical colleges. NISOD supports its member colleges by providing professional development resources and learning experiences, including practitioner publications, webinars, the annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, the NISOD Excellence Awards, and more. For more information about NISOD, visit

2014-15 NISOD Excellence Award Recipients

Molly BeauchmanMolly Beachman

  • Mathematics Professor

Leanne LawheadLe Anne Lawhead

  • Early Childhood Education Professor
  • Le Anne Lawhead, M Ed., has been a full-time faculty member at Yavapai College since 2004. Prior to this appointment, Le Anne spent seventeen years with Prescott Unified School District. Those years were comprised of teaching everything from preschoolers and their families, kindergartners, first graders and music students of all ages. Le Anne received both her bachelors and master’s degree from Northern Arizona University and continued her education in early childhood through the New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development and Arizona State University. Along with the responsibilities of working with Early Childhood Education students, Le Anne also manages a program that recruits and retains professionals into the Early Childhood Field through scholarship opportunities, and another grant that educates families to promote early literacy development in young children. To date, this early literacy grant has impacted over 1500 families in our county. Additionally, Le Anne serves as a faculty adviser for the Yavapai College student chapter of NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), and has recently been appointed as Vice President of Professional Development for the AZ AEYC (The Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children). When not promoting the importance of Early Childhood, Le Anne is an active musician in the Prescott area. Le Anne plays flute and piccolo in both the Prescott Pops Symphony and Prescott Chamber Orchestra. While being incredibly grateful for this lifetime of career opportunities, Le Anne is most thankful for her supportive husband, and two wonderful children, now ages, 21 and 18.

Billie NorrisBillie Norris

  • Instructional and Student Services

Past NISOD Award Winners

Year Name Division Title
2013/2014 Justin BreretonJustin Brereton Agribusiness Instructor
2013/2014 Dr. Suzanne WaldenbergerSuzanne Waldenberger Humanities/General Education Coordinator Instructor
2013/2014 Tania SheldahlTania Sheldahl Academic and Career Advising,
Testing Services and High School Relations
2012/2013 Lauren McCreaLauren McCrea Visual Performing and
Liberal Arts
2012/2013 Gino RomeoGino Romeo Chemistry Instructor
2011/2012 Alan LohrAlan Lohr Gunsmithing Instructor
2010/2011 Denise WoolseyDenise Woolsey Communications Instructor
2010/2011 Matt PearcyMatt Pearcy Biology Instructor
2010/2011 Rick PetersRick Peters Mining Instructor
2009/2010 Stacey HiltonStacey Hilton TeLS/Summer and
Winter Institutes
2009/2010 photo unavailableKen Schoch EMS and Paramedic Program Director
2009/2010 Brent RobertsBrent Roberts Math/Honors Program Instructor
2008/2009 photo unavailableGennie Fuemmeier
EDU/Reading Instructor
2008/2009 Larry FrolichLarry Frolich Anatomy/Physiology Instructor
2008/2009 Ernie HernandezErnie Hernandez Automotive Instructor
2007/2008 Al GarbagnatiAl Garbagnati Psychology/Sociology Instructor
2007/2008 Paul EwingPaul Ewing Liberal Studies Instructor
2007/2008 Vickey LaMotteVickey LaMotte Family Enrichment Ctr. Director
2006/2007 photo unavailableJim Bushman
Public Services Program Director
2006/2007 David GraserDavid Graser Math Instructor