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NOC honors 2020 retirees

Northern Oklahoma College honored four employees who are retiring from NOC this year.

Retirees include Deb Garoutte, Mary Skidmore, Laura Marshall, and Jeff Foss.

Normally, retiring employees are honored in May of each year but the ceremony was postponed due to Covid-19. The ceremony honoring the retirees will be held at a later date.

“Northern appreciates the years of dedication and service provided by each of these wonderful individuals,” said NOC President Dr. Cheryl Evans. “Their commitment to serve students has made a lasting impact. I regret that we are unable to host our traditional special event in their honor at this time, but we do recognize and celebrate their careers and wish them well in the next chapter of their lives.”

Laura Marshall began her career at Northern Oklahoma College in 1976 as the Executive Assistant to the President, Dr. Edwin Vineyard. In 1979, she left to work for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education office as the Executive Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs until 1981. She then went to work for the Oklahoma City Clinic. She returned to NOC in 1983 as the Executive Assistant to Dr. Edwin Vineyard until his retirement in 1990, she then worked for President, Dr. Joe Kinzer until 1991. In 1991, she began a new chapter at NOC when she became a freshman business instructor. She has continued at this capacity for the last 29 years.

Marshall is a Ponca City High School graduate. She attended Northern Oklahoma College receiving her Associates in Arts degree in 1974. She continued her education at the University of Central Oklahoma obtaining her Bachelors of Arts in 1981 and her Masters in Education in 1993. She has also taken additional graduate hours from Southwestern Oklahoma State University throughout the years.

Upon retirement in May, she plans on working as an Adjunct Instructor for Northern Oklahoma College and being involved in community and church activities.

Jeff Foss spent almost 21 years serving in the United States Air Force. He began his military career at McConnell Air Force Base where he served in the Strategic Air Command working on Titan II missiles for 10 years. For the next five years he was stationed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he served in U.S. Space Command working satellite ground systems control. He then went to Thule Air Force Base in Greenland where he worked at a radar surveillance site. He finished his career in the Air Force serving with a detached unit at Cape Cod. He was assigned to a radar site where they watched missiles launches worldwide.

Foss retired from the military and began working for Northern Oklahoma College in 1999 as the Information Technology Computer Systems Technician. In 2004 he went to Blackwell Public Schools and became the Information Technology Director. Jeff was at Blackwell Schools for 13 years before returning to NOC as the Network Server Administrator.

Foss has been married to his wife, Amy, for 33 years. Amy serves as the Northern Oklahoma College comptroller. They have a daughter, Elise, who just graduated and will begin teaching in Ponca City this fall.

He plans to spend time with his family, do some projects around the house, go kayaking and catch some fish.

Deborah Garoutte began her career at Northern Oklahoma College Enid in 2004. As the Director for Northern Oklahoma College Project Achieve she has served the community of Enid, in social services, for the past 29 years.

Garoutte earned her Bachelors of Arts in Education from Southern Arkansas University in 1983, and served our nation for six years in the United States Army. After serving, she eventually made her way to Enid where she continued to serve but in a different aspect.

She has been a huge advocate for low income families. Whether it be working alongside community partners to establish transportation for nursing students to get to school, or speaking in front of congress advocating for services in rural counties, she laid the foundation of what a director of a student support program should entail. She continues to work alongside community partners to meet the needs of NOC students.

Garoutte diligently works to help every Northern student with educational advisement as well as assist with needs during their educational process. Being a single parent is difficult while attending college, and she sees the need to advocate and provide resources for single parents. By assisting our single parent population, it helps alleviate stressors that are preventing them from completing a class or even graduating.

She plans to relax next to a lake. Fishing will be top of her daily agenda, along with continued family time.

Mary Skidmore began her career at Northern Oklahoma College Enid in 2007. She was hired as the Staff Assistant for Student Affairs and worked for the Dean of Students, Boomer Appleman. In 2012, she transitioned to the position Administrative Assistant for the Vice President-Enid campus, working for Dr. Ed Vineyard until he retired in 2019. She spent her entire professional career at NOC working in Student Affairs. She has also assisted Athletic Director, Jeremy Hise and the current Vice President of the Enid Campus Raydon Leaton.

Skidmore and her husband, Larry, were married May 29, 1964 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Enid. They have three sons, Dean, David and Daniel, four grandsons and a granddaughter. She said that Larry’s love after family is golf. When he is not playing or working at Pheasant Run, they plan to spend time with family and do some traveling.