Northeastern Junior College
May 17, 2018

May 17, 2018, Sterling, Colo. – The Gabriel and Barbara Gertner family of Sterling, Colo. are dedicated and loyal to Northeastern Junior College – Gabriel and all eight of his children attended Northeastern. The Northeastern Junior College (NJC) Alumni Association honored the Gertner family as the recipients of the 2018 Pride in Association award during the commencement exercise held on May 11, 2018.

Gabriel grew up on the family farm near Padroni, Colo. and graduated from Padroni High School in 1941. He enrolled at Northeastern in 1942, attending part-time, while working on the family farm. Gabriel was also a member of the second basketball team at the college.

In 1945, Gabriel was drafted into the United States Army, and during his service he was deployed to Corregidor, Bataan and Manila, Philippines. In November 1946 he was discharged. After returning home, he worked for Campsey Construction and Mountain Bell Telephone, and on June 7, 1951, Gabriel married Barbara Kaiser; the couple went on to have eight children.

Although Gabriel did not graduate from Northeastern, he and Barbara appreciated the quality education and the foundation it provided their children to transfer to four-year institutions. 

Mike Gertner graduated from Northeastern in 1972 earning an Associate of Arts degree. He in turn transferred to the University of Northern Colorado, graduating in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Mike took a position with RE-1 Valley School District, and during his 37 years as an educator he received a Master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado.

Pride Association

Pictured left to right: Rose McDonald, Mike Gertner, Gabriel Gertner, Bill Gertner, Linda Skeen

Bob Gertner graduated from Northeastern in 1974, receiving an Associate of Applied Science. He furthered his education at Colorado Aerotech, Inc. where he earned an airframe and power plant license, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in business management and accounting from the Upper Iowa University. Bob worked for AGCO Corporation and Massey Ferguson Inc.; he currently works for Kubota Tractor Corporation as the Central Division District Sales Manager.

Linda (Gertner) Skeen earned her Associates degree in 1975 from Northeastern. Directly after she graduated Linda entered into the workforce, working several clerical positions and as a service clerk at a John Deere dealership. She is currently the Purchasing Supervisor for the Jennie M. Melham Hospital in Broken Bow, Neb.

Jim Gertner earned an Associates of Arts degree in 1981 at Northeastern, and returned in 1985 to earn a certificate in auto-body repair. He then pursued a teaching degree at the University of Colorado earning a Bachelor’s degree in 1988 and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Texas Tech University in 2000. Jim has been a math teacher at Wingate High School in Gallup, N.M. since 1989.

Bill Gertner received an Associate degree in 1984 from Northeastern, and continued his education at Colorado State University earning a Bachelor’s degree in 1986. Bill has worked as a Loan Officer at Yuma Federal Land Bank and Farm Credit of Northeastern Colorado; he currently is the Vice President of Lending and Branch Manager at Premier Farm Credit.

Rose (Gertner) McDonald graduated from Northeastern in 1985 with an Associate of Arts degree. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Northern Colorado in 1987 with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Rose taught for RE-1 Valley School District from 1987 to 1996.

Kelly Gertner graduated from Northeastern in 1995 with an Associates of Arts degree. His plans were to attend Colorado State University to which he had been accepted, however, on May 8, 1997 he passed away.

Northeastern provided the Gertner family a quality education, the foundation for transferring to four-year institutions and a financially affordable education.

The NJC Alumni Association established the Pride in Association Award in 2002. It is bestowed upon a family or individual who has provided support, dedication and loyalty to the college over the years.

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