Triton Hall of Fame Inducts 2022 Class
by Iowa Central Information
Posted on 10/24/2022
The newest members of the Triton Hall of Fame were introduced Saturday evening, October 22 at a banquet in their honor on the Iowa Central Campus.
The seven inductees included an individual who has dedicated her career to growing small businesses, a basketball star turned police officer, a well-known local band director, an accomplished writer, a former rodeo team member who is now in the professional circuit, a decorated three-sport athlete and the first women’s team to ever earn a national championship for the Tritons.
“You are examples of how Iowa Central continues to make a difference across our nine-county region, Iowa, and the nation,” said Iowa Central President Jesse Ulrich as he addressed the inductees. “You showcase what Iowa Central is all about and you should be proud to be associated with Iowa Central.”
- Joseph LeValley, Distinguished Alumni
Joseph LeValley came to Iowa Central as a freshman in the early 1970’s. He earned his associate of arts degree in 1973 and served as student body president. After graduating from Iowa Central, LeValley transferred to Drake University in Des Moines where he earned a bachelor of arts degree. LeValley worked as a journalist in Mason City and later served as director of community relations, vice president of planning and public affairs and senior vice president of network development at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa. He retired as senior vice president of planning and system development for Mercy Health Network.
LeValley has written five novels with a sixth currently in production and more than 40 songs. He credits his love for writing as the biggest contributor to his success, both personally and professionally.
“My love of writing has been fundamental for my every success,” LeValley said.
LeValley fondly recalled his time at Iowa Central and the many relationships and experiences he gained during his time as a student.
“Iowa Central is a special place,” he said. “Never take it for granted. Two of the best years of my life I spent here. I loved everything about my time at Iowa Central: the fantastic education, the endless opportunities to do things and be involved, and lifelong friendships and people I treasure who would not be in my life without Iowa Central.”
“All of my education in my life has been important,” said LeValley as he closed his speech. “From elementary school to my master’s degree, but none more so than Iowa Central.”
- Lisa Shimkat, Distinguished Alumni
Lisa Shimkat, a 1991 graduate of Iowa Central, has dedicated her life and career to serving others and “living her life as a distinguished leader,” according to her nominators.
She has served as finance director for Cornbelt Power Cooperative and as the regional director for the Iowa Central Small Business Development Center. She is presently the State of Iowa director for the Small Business Development Center at Iowa State University. She is an America’s Small Business Development Center State Star Award recipient and has served on the National Board of Directors for the Small Business Development Center since 2019, presently serving as vice-president for America’s SBDC. Shimkat also serves on the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board of Directors. Locally, she serves as vice-president of the Fort Dodge Community Schools Board of Education.
“Not all paths lead in one direction,” said Shimkat. “How I got to where I am, there was no straight path. When I started at Iowa Central in 1989, I had no idea what tomorrow would bring.”
Shimkat credited her Iowa Central education for giving her a sense of purpose and a solid foundation.
“I loved my time at Iowa Central,” she said “Whether it was the opportunity to develop a sense of purpose or set the stage for the future; I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Iowa Central was truly the foundation I needed in my adventure to make a difference.”
- Dan Cassady, Distinguished Faculty
Cassady taught instrumental music at Iowa Central from 1995 to 2006. He has also taught at Fort Dodge Senior High and St. Edmond Catholic Schools in the Fort Dodge community.
Prior to his time at Iowa Central Cassady was often on campus with his high school students for various musical events. When the band director position became available at Iowa Central, Cassady said was impressed with the facilities and wondered what it might be like to teach there. At that time, there were just 13 students in the instrumental music program.
“I submitted my application,” Cassady recalled. “This was really my leap of faith; I had come from a program with over 100 students. Some might have said I was crazy, but I had my mentors who were with me every step of the way.”
Under Cassady’s leadership, the instrumental music program flourished and grew.
“Dan has the inherent gift of a master teacher,” said Teresa Jackson, director of theater at Iowa Central. “Dan shows up and gets the job done. He has the ability to make the good great and the great exceptional.”
Cassady said he has always recommended Iowa Central to potential students.
“I have recommended students before, during and after my tenure here because of the excellence in teaching. Students here get one on one attention and are treated on a more personal level.”
Cassady said he takes pride in the number of students he has taught who have pursued musical careers or have continued to make music a regular part of their lives.
“I have many former students who are teaching music, playing music and still involved in music and that makes me very happy.”
- Morgan (Brown) Angotti, Distinguished Athlete
Angotti was a decorated three-sport athlete for the Tritons from 2006-2009. She was an all-region volleyball player in 2006 and 2007, a member of the 2007 national qualifying Iowa Central women’s golf team and qualified for nationals in golf as an individual in 2008. Angotti was a member of the Triton Women’s Basketball Team from 2007-2009 where she was named an all-region basketball player during the 2008-2009 season: averaging 17.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. She was a five-time all-region and three time All-American for the Tritons. Following her years at Iowa Central, she continued to have a stellar basketball Career at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City.
“I had the privilege of playing for some great coaches at Iowa Centrral,” said Angotti. “They all contributed to my success. There is no other place where I could have had such a unique and busy experience to start my college career.”
- Tanner Aus, Distinguished Athlete
Aus was a member of the Iowa Central Rodeo Team from 2008-2010. During his time as a Triton, he finished 10th in the nation in bareback riding as a freshman and third in the nation his sophomore year. After graduating with his associate of arts degree, Aus transferred to Missouri Valley College where he continued to grow in his rodeo career, earning a second-place finish in bareback at nationals his junior year and completed his collegiate rodeo days as a national champion bareback rider.
“Tanner Aus is a winner in rodeo, in life and as a person,” his nominator, former Triton teammate Wacy Cody, wrote.
Aus attributed his success in the professional rodeo circuit to his start at Iowa Central.
“I was blessed with great coaches who made me realize I could be a better bareback rider than I ever thought before,” he said. “Rodeo has taken me many places, and Iowa Central was one of them.”
As a six-time qualifier for the renowned National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Aus will return for a seventh Nationals run in December.
“Start with a goal,” Aus said. “You have no idea how your life will turn out and many of my goals were made possible because of Iowa Central. I am grateful and humbled that there is a place for my name to hang at Iowa Central.”
- Sessions Harlan, Distinguished Athlete
Originally from Detroit, Harlan played basketball for Fort Dodge Junior College/Iowa Central from 1966-1968. He was a two-time all-region player at Iowa Central and a member of the men’s basketball squad that finished fifth in the national tournament. Harlan transferred to Weber State in Ogden, UT where he continued a successful collegiate hoops career, earning two conference championships and two NCAA Tournament berths. Harlan worked as a police officer in Denver for 30 years and was head of the Denver SWAT Team for nine years.
Harlan recalled his time in Fort Dodge in the earlier years of the junior college.
“We didn’t have this Iowa Central Campus then,” he said, “Out of town students lived at the Wakhonsa Hotel and we took classes at the back of the high school and played at the high school.”
Harlan’s memory of the night he tried to leave Fort Dodge brought laughter among the crowd.
“I left one night on a bus back to Detroit,” he said “The bus was pulled over by the Iowa State Police in the middle of nowhere. The officer found me and told me ‘They want you to come back to Fort Dodge.’”
Harlan said he did eventually return to Fort Dodge that season and continued to play basketball, but what impacted him most was the advice and influence of his teachers and coaches.
Harlan especially remembers the guidance of his English instructor, Dorothy Hall.
“There was a group of us, she’d (Hall) take us to church and look out for us,” said Harlan. “I remember being told ‘you’re a student first, athlete second.’ Dorothy taught me that basketball is temporary, but you’ll be a man for the rest of your life. She instilled in me to be a good man and that is something from I have carried with me to this day.”
- 2007-2008 Womens Cross Country, Triton Athletic Team Award
The 2007- 2008 Women’s Cross Country Team set the bar for the beginning one of the most storied athletic programs in Iowa Central history. The team earned back-to-back NJCAA national championships. They were the first female squads to win national titles for the Tritons and were the first of many national championships for the Iowa Central Cross Country program.
“These ladies represent something so much bigger than that,” said Head Cross Country Coach Dee Brown. “They were about much more than a sport; they were about friendships, relationships and how hard they pushed each other.”
The Tritons were a young program, having only been in existence for four years when they earned their first national title, beating a No. 1 Ranked Butler team by 34 points in 2007. They repeated in 2008 beating No. 1 Butler by 53 points.
“Thank you for the impact you had on my life and on your teammates’ lives,” Brown said. “You are now national champions and hall-of-famers.”
The campus has a spectacular structure. ICCC has individual learning, as it is a school with a "smaller" number of students, the teachers give you more attention which helps you better understand the subject. The ARC helps students, as there is a reading and writing center inside, as well as tutors for general subjects.