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EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR Randy Parsons Loyalty and generosity are two of the main

reasons VVEC employees honored co-worker Randy Parsons as the cooperative’s 2010 Employee of the Year. Parsons, who began his career with VVEC in

1990, is currently a construction lineman. “He is our most experienced foreman,”

says Randy Riddle, manager of operations and technical services. “He supervises a construction crew and has trained, or helped train, many of the young linemen we have working for us today. Randy was voted Employee of the Year because of the knowledge he shares with his co-workers, his patience with the younger ones, and the loyalty he shows toward his crew members.” Although the identity of the recipient is kept

secret until the employee Christmas party, Parsons says he was truly surprised to be given this honor.

PROFILE John Hibdon Trustee “Beside being a grandparent, this is the

most fun I’ve had,” John Hibdon says smiling, when he talks about coaching young boys in the Barnsdall Elementary Wrestling Program. For the past 32 years, ‘Coach John’ has

taught the fundamentals of wrestling to Barnsdall boys between the ages of 5 and 13. Although the program uses Barnsdall Public Schools facilities and equipment, the program is not school sponsored. John, who serves as trustee for VVEC’s

district 4, developed a passion for the sport as he was growing up in Altus. He wrestled in high school and as a student at Claremore Junior College.

But he was simply trying to help out when

his efforts resulted in the current program in Barnsdall. Only a few families were wrestling when severe weather one winter prevented them from attending out-of-town practices. At the request of some of those parents, John taught a few practice sessions. The next year parents asked him to coach their sons at home. John ran an ad in the local newspaper to see how many young boys might be inter- ested in learning the sport. “About 35 to 40 youngsters showed

up,” he says. “And that number has remained pretty constant for over 30 years now.”

John laughs when he says he’s now

coaching the sons of some of his former students, and evidence of how many boys that is and what accomplished wrestlers many of them became, can be found on the walls of their practice room. Painted on the walls are the names and years his wrestlers won a variety of honors. At one end of the room, be- ginning just below the ceiling and descending down the wall, is a lengthy list of his students who are State champions; while at the other end are the champions’ photos, plaques and trophies. Some have gone on to wrestle for junior colleges and four-year universities such as wrestling powerhouse, Oklahoma State. While the accolades belong to the young

wrestlers, the reward belongs to John. “There is a special kind of reward that comes from working with kids, especially at this age. They are enthusiastic and eager to learn,” he says. “Wrestling in Oklahoma is like a family,

“VVEC is a good place to work. I have a good

career here, and these are good people to work with,” he says.

PROFILE Robyn Richardson Friend of Education Being a friend to education is a

family affair for Robyn Richardson. Robyn and her husband John Edd

were active, supportive parents when their three children were in school. They were home-room parents, they often prepared treat bags for the kids’ classmates and sports teams, along with supplying treats for class holiday celebrations. Robyn even cooked a turkey for one first grade Thanksgiving celebration. Their kids were tutors and mentors to other younger students. Today, their daughter-in-law is a para- professional and their grandchildren attend school in Collinsville. However, the desire to help and

remain involved didn’t graduate when the Richardson kids did. Today Robyn and John Edd

provide supplies such as notebooks, paper, pencils, and Crayons to Wilson Elementary First Grade teacher Misty Ragle. Robyn keeps an eye out for sales throughout the year and buys everything from disinfectant wipes to supplies to treats, and then gives them to Ms. Ragle for her students. They have boxes of supplies in their garage to share with Ms. Ragle’s classes when they are needed. “We make sure there are additional supplies at the beginning of the (school) year,” says Robyn. “But we try to help all year long. There is such a need for these things.”

Chloe and Robyn Richardson and Misty Ragle

and this has become my second family,” he says. For young boys and their parents in

Barnsdall, Coach John is a beloved member of the family.


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