It was a bittersweet moment for Amy Kjellin, director of Butler Community College of Marion, as she handed certificates and tokens of appreciation to three students graduating this semester.
For future students, Butler of Marion might have a different look, but will still offer the same services, Kjellin said.
Like most schools in the state, Butler Community College is trying to find ways to get the most out of its budget, which includes possibly moving the Marion campus to a new location as soon as next year.
“The school will still be here for students, and we’ll still be in Marion County, but we might be in a different location than this,” Kjellin said. “We have great high school participation and Allied Health enrollment and those programs will continue.”
No decision has been made yet what cuts, if any, will be made.
Three students will graduate this year after completing nearly all of their classes at the Marion campus.
Jennifer Roland of Burns will graduate with high, Order of the Purple, honors and as a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She started at Butler majoring in secondary education but has since changed to liberal arts. She is also minoring in special education. She will walk at the graduation ceremony May 16 at Butler’s El Dorado campus.
Roland had no credit hours before beginning at Butler more than two years ago, and has either taken classes online or at the Marion campus.
She decided to get her degree after raising a family. After graduation, she plans to complete her secondary education degree and return to Marion to teach.
Roland currently works as a paraprofessional at Marion High School.
Kerry Maag of Marion has been taking classes through Butler for four years. She currently works for Marion County Road and Bridge Department and part-time with St. Luke Living Center. She hopes to start her own business after graduating and getting her marketing or entrepreneur degree.
“I decided when I retire in a few years I want to do something different,” she said. “So I started taking classes.”
Maag is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa and is receiving her associate’s degree in liberal arts.
Joy Dalke of Hillsboro began taking classes two years ago. She is graduating with an associate’s degree in science and accounting. She hopes to complete a business degree in the near future.
“I started school 20-plus years ago,” she said. “I went back because I wanted to better understand my job, but the more I went the more I thought, ‘Do I want to do what I’m doing my entire life?’”
Dalke hopes to eventually become a teacher.
Maag said she will miss Butler of Marion because it feels like home.
“The professors have been really awesome and have gone out of their way to help us succeed and do well,” Roland said.
“I’m going to miss this place,” Dalke said.