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Seven NOC employees retire this fall

Seven Northern Oklahoma College employees are retiring this fall.

The retirees include Amy Foss, Tonkawa; Raydon Leaton, Enid; Cindy Fox, Tonkawa; Dr. Cathy Moore, Tonkawa; Renee Lee, Tonkawa; Fritz Osell, Enid; and Tom Ellis, Tonkawa.

“These seven individuals have shared the best of themselves with our students and institution and have truly made a difference in the lives of hundreds of people,” said NOC President Dr. Cheryl Evans.  “We will miss them on campus, but wish them the very best in the next chapter of their lives.  They will always be part of the Northern family.”

Amy Foss

Amy Foss began her career at Northern Oklahoma College in October 2001, working part-time for Marion Tucker in the Information Technology Department.   In January 2002, Anita Simpson, Vice President for Financial Affairs, hired Amy to serve as the NOC Foundation Accountant.

Amy particularly enjoyed helping process scholarships that the NOC Foundation awards in support of NOC’s objective to provide “Life Changing” opportunities for students.   She considered it a great privilege and honor to work with the scholarships established in memory of so many wonderful individuals from the Tonkawa area.

Amy served as NOC Foundation Accountant until she moved into the role of Comptroller for NOC in July 2005, where she served until retiring on November 30, 2020.    She is proud to have been part of the Finance Office team, and treasures the friendships and memories that she takes with her.

Raydon Leaton

After 21 years, Raydon Leaton, effective December 17, Leaton will be leaving Northern Oklahoma College after twenty-one years of service and has accepted another position in Florida where he will be closer to family.

Leaton began his career at Northern Oklahoma College in 2000 to start the NOC Jets baseball program in Enid as well as teach in the Business division. In 2001, he became the college’s first Athletic Director for NOC Enid.  Leaton served in this administrative role providing leadership with student athletes, coaches, budgets, fundraising and eligibility until 2014. During his tenure as Athletic Director, Raydon oversaw the inaugural seasons of men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, baseball, and softball.

During Leaton’s tenure as head Jets baseball coach, his teams have been to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II World Series four times in his career, including three of the last six years. The Jets finished 8th place in 2014 and 3rd place in 2002 and 2018. The 2019 team reached the ultimate pinnacle of athletics by winning the World Series claiming their first National Championship with record-breaking attendance at the David Allen Memorial Ballpark in Enid. He has won five Region II Coach of the Year awards and four Plains District Coach of the Year awards.

Leaton has served as the NOC Enid vice president and a member of the executive council team since August 2019. During that time, he has provided the vision, leadership and strategic direction for the NOC operations in Enid. Raydon has served as a college representative to community, state, regional, and national organization, including Enid Higher Education Council, Enid Entrepreneur Leadership Series, Council for Oklahoma Extended Campus Administrators and Enid Rotary.

“Even though my career at NOC is coming to an end, I will forever consider myself part of the NOC family,” Leaton said. “Dr. Evans, the NOC employees, my coaches, and former players have provided so many professional highlights for Stacie and I over the 21 years. I want everyone to know how grateful we are for the opportunities, the support, and the friendships. We are Jets for life and will always cherish our time here.”

Cindy Fox

Cindy Fox began her career at Northern Oklahoma College in July of 1998.  Fox worked part-time in the Registration department as an Admissions Specialist and part-time as the Event Coordinator for the Fine Arts Division in the Kinzer Performing Arts Center.

She was raised in theatre so this was a great opportunity for her to continue being a part of what she loved.  She ran the box office for the musicals and plays, tallied scores for the district vocal and band contests, helped with the costumes and “other jobs as assigned” that Dineo Heilman asked of her.

In 2000, the Roustabout group began performing for Carnival Cruise lines every other year and Cindy enjoyed being able to go and be a part of this program.

In 2013, she moved to full-time in the Registration department.  During her time in registration she had the pleasure to get acquainted with many students and their families while helping them enroll at NOC.  She has also worked with student records and transcripts.

Fox stated “Being able to work with the students and their families has been an experience I will never forget.  I know that we say that NOC is “Life Changing” for our students but I also like to think it has been “Life Changing” for me as well.”

Dr. Cathy Moore

Dr. Cathy Moore is retiring from Northern Oklahoma College after 14 years.  Dr. Moore has enjoyed her career in Education for over 39 years, with the last 14 years at NOC.  Dr. Moore began her tenure at NOC as an instructor in the Language Arts Division, where she taught Reading, Basic Composition, Supplement to Comp 1, Comp I and Comp 2.  She has served as the Language Arts division chair for the past 10 years.

While at NOC, Dr. Moore has been a lead sponsor for the President’s Leadership Council.  While working with this group of students she has enjoyed being able to travel to Washington, D.C. and various other places.  She has also been very active in numerous campus committees, served as a sponsor of the Literature Club, chair of the Tonkawa scholarship committee, helped with the Agriculture Interscholastic Contests, the Interscholastic Contests, and the Academic Bowl.  Dr. Moore also faithfully ran the time clock at the Maverick basketball games. Dr. Moore plans to enjoy her retirement by visiting grandchildren and quilting.

Renee Lee

Renee Lee began working at Northern Oklahoma College on May 24, 2004 in the registration office.

Lee began her career after receiving a degree from NOC and a degree from OSU-OKC in Crime Victims Survival Services. During that time, she worked for AmeriCorps and the Domestic Violence Shelter in Ponca City.

After working in the registration office for several years, she was promoted to the Retention Specialist under the leadership of Vice President for Enrollment Management Dr. Edgington.

“I enjoyed talking with students and encouraging them to make better grades and better their attendance while in this position,” she said.  “I was able to call students who left NOC without a degree and help them receive their associates while working elsewhere. I enrolled and talked to students daily, helping them find services on and off campus. While in this position I was able to encourage students to study hard. Seeing them transfer into successful young adults graduating with a degree made all the hard work worth it. This brought great joy for me.”

After 16 years at NOC, she retired with mixed emotions knowing she worked for such a wonderful “life changing” college.

Fritz Osell

Fritz Osell began his career at Northern Oklahoma College Enid in 2002.  He was hired by Dr. Joe Kinzer and Dr. Roger Stacy to come build an astronomy center and develop undergraduate astronomy courses.

Under Osell’s guidance, NOC has been able to offer the standard undergraduate astronomy course taken by 300,000 university undergraduates each year.  NOC also developed standard 3-credit astronomy courses for students who are required to have seven credits of science for core requirements for those who may wish to pursue undergraduate astronomy degrees at OU and other American universities.

While at NOC, Osell has built one of the most complete astronomy centers in Oklahoma.  It has been used to conduct asteroid research for NASA programs enabling NOC undergraduate students to work with community members.  NOC students have also successfully utilized the observatory to track asteroids in partnership with the University of Arizona and other universities.

Osell was asked by Dr. Kinzer to build a planetarium. The Bert and Janice Mackie Planetarium on the Enid campus is one of the largest college planetariums in the United States.  The planetarium is not only used for teaching it is also used to present shows to the general public. To date the astronomy center and planetarium have hosted over 25,000 visitors.

Osell also organized the massive 12,000 drill core samples in the science building which were part of the geological sample collection inherited from Phillips University. He arranged with the Oklahoma Geological Survey to have this sample collection moved to Norman with the stipulation that this important collection be called the NOC Enid core collection.  He continues to organize and archive the large fossil and mineral collections at NOC.

He retired in June from Northern Oklahoma College.  His plans include being an adjunct astronomy and earth science instructor and to operate and maintain the NOC astronomy center.

Tom Ellis

Tom Ellis worked as a gardener at Northern Oklahoma College for nine years starting his career at NOC in 2011.

As the gardener on the NOC Tonkawa campus, Ellis’ job entailed the care and maintenance of trees and flora on campus grounds.

His job included taking care of plants in the greenhouse, set out budding plants in the spring, cared for plants and trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs on campus.  He also selected plants for the NOC President’s home, campus patios, and determined which trees and shrubs were planted on each campus.