Yavapai College leaders, faculty and staff gathered Tuesday to honor this year’s outstanding students at the Verde Valley campus and Sedona Center. In all, 20 students across the academic and career-training spectrum were singled out for their achievements during the annual “Evening of Recognition” ceremony.

“The students recognized at this ceremony are some of the finest examples of students who have worked hard to distinguish themselves from others academically and through leadership and service,”  YC President Dr. Lisa Rhine said in her ceremony address. “I am excited to see what the future holds for these students who have made academic excellence, leadership and service to others a priority in the pursuit of their education.”

Rhine presented the evening’s top award, the President’s Award for Academic Excellence to Shanandoah Sterling of Sedona. Praised as an “academic all star” who excelled in all of her YC English classes, Shanandoah aspires to teach English around the world after continuing her education at Northern Arizona University. Shanandoah was an active in the community and at the Verde Valley campus, where she served as vice president of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and the English Club. Last fall she served on the  college’s presidential search committee.

Earning the Vice President’s Award for Academic Excellence in 2019 was accounting student Nicole Earl of Cottonwood. YC Accounting Professor Vikki Bentz nominated Nicole for the award, citing her “integrity, advanced analytical, communication and interpersonal skills,” her PTK membership and her volunteer activities. “These attributes make her a valuable member of the student body at Yavapai College and the community as a whole.” Bentz wrote.

Along with shining a spotlight on outstanding Verde Valley students, the college also annually honors an outstanding faculty member, adjunct instructor and staff member during the Evening of Recognition. This year, veteran math teacher Jim Bostwick was named outstanding faculty member. The announcement was met with a standing ovation from the audience. Dr. James Perey, executive dean of the Verde Valley campus and Sedona Center, said of Bostwick, “Jim has always had the greater good in mind, with a firm philosophy in a student-centered approach to his work.”

Sedona Culinary Institute instructor Kat Biemann earned outstanding adjunct honors and Lori McIntyre, instructional assistant for the science department, was named outstanding staff member.

Earning Outstanding Alumni honors this year was Ron Sauntman. The Yavapai County Emergency Services Manager, Perey said, “exemplifies the power of career and technical education and what it means to set lofty goals and achieve career excellence.”

Following is a list of additional 2019 Outstanding Student honorees:

  • English, Shawna Devlin and Shanandoah Sterling
  • History and Humanities, Amanda McCloud, Alex Flannery and Holly Mainhart
  • Social Science, Angelina Lucio
  • Math, Paige Pullins and Amber Morey
  • Biology, Fernando Diaz and Lee Ann Stapleton
  • Science, Elle Swann
  • Nursing, Patricia King
  • Culinary Arts, Mark Bealafeld
  • Film and Media Arts, Cynthia Daddona
  • SSS Trio, Alyssa Ebel
  • All-Arizona Academic Team, Amanda McCloud and Shanandoah Sterling