Classes are back in session with extracurricular events in full force and the 140-plus residence hall students learning new names, faces and stories. This year, in addition to students from Columbus, Schuyler, Shelby, Omaha, Burwell, Osceola and Greeley, we have students from New York, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany. They all are learning about each other and the educational opportunities in Columbus, Nebraska.

Speaking of new “residents,” we also are pleased to have new faculty and staff on campus this fall providing their unique education and talents in the classroom and community. Here a just a few names you may see thanks to CCC.

Anthony Burnham, music instructor and band director

Anthony grew up in Bellevue and earned a bachelor's degree in music performance (euphonium) and master's degree in music composition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Anthony has previously taught at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Midland University and Lincoln Public Schools. He actively composes and arranges music for bands across the United States, judges marching band contests and has performed with many groups, including the Lincoln Civic Orchestra and Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps.

Sharon Gutru, accounting and business administration instructor

Sharon is originally from Denver, Colorado. She has her bachelor's degree in secondary education and received her Master of Business Administration degree from Regis University with a specialization in accounting. She moved here from Plattsmouth. She has accounting experience in industry including electrical control manufacturing, law, welding and entrepreneurship, and has owned her own small business accounting and income tax preparation company for over 20 years.

Billy Perkins, head women's basketball coach and physical education instructor

Billy and his family moved here from Iowa Park, Texas, and he brings with him 19 years of coaching experience. His master's degree is in physical education and educational administration from Sul Ross State University. In addition to his head coaching duties, he will be an assistant coach for women’s softball and men’s golf.

Jerry Muller, industrial coordinator/trainer

While not new to the Columbus area, Jerry commutes from North Bend and is learning his new role as a trainer in our Workforce Development and Training division. Jerry comes to us with nine years of experience working as an electrical mechanical/electronic technician and supervisor. He earned his Associate of Applied Science degree in electrical and electromechanical from Southeast Community College.

Austin Patzel, residence life coordinator

Austin is a 2012 graduate of Columbus High School and 2016 graduate of South Dakota State University. He worked at the Boys and Girls Club of Moody County, South Dakota, before returning to Columbus. He will be helping our director provide educational and leadership opportunities for our residence hall students.

We are pleased to welcome these talented new employees and students to the Columbus area. As always, feel free to contact us on how we can continue Central Community College’s mission of maximizing student and community success.

Matt Gotschall is president of Central Community College-Columbus. He can be reached at mgotschall@cccneb.edu.

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