Rising Star Awards

Preslee Bunch

Preslee Bunch, CNCC

Preslee is in her second year Dental Hygiene at CNCC. This is her fourth and final year as a student and is excited to start her career in hygiene. Her plans are to stay in Rangely, Co and eventually specialize in dental hygiene for special needs children. She is also a connoisseur of french fries, chicken nuggets, and dipping sauces. She has been able to hold a 4.0 for most of her time at CNCC but has especially worked hard at that in her hygiene classes. Her first three years at CNCC she served as the Student Government President and also took time serving as the president in the honors society Phi Theta Kappa. Preslee loves spending time with her family and friends and has also decided to take a new hobby in fishing. Preslee would like everybody to know that if they need any new good shows to watch on Netflix, she has you covered. 

Mahad Haji

Mahad Haji, CNCC

Mahad Haji is the first in his family to go to college, coming from immigrant parents. A full-time student, worker, and athlete, he manages to balance it all while remaining a present friend and a dedicated family member. Mahad loves to compete and will turn the simplest tasks into a competition. Born and raised in Denver, Mahad has used his experiences to help him in everyday life. Sports have always been an important part of Mahad’s life, but nothing compares to soccer. Apart from school and soccer Mahad enjoys being around people and going on adventures. He enjoys eating although is very hesitant to try new foods.  

Phi Theta Kappa All-Colorado Academic Team

Academic Transfer Students

Nathan Allred

Colorado Northwestern Community College

Nathan Allred is our recipient of the Phi Theta Kapp All-USA Academic Teal Leaders Award.  He is currently pursuing his Associate of Applied Science in Nursing and will graduate this May.  His goals include working at the VA Hospital and continuing his education to include a Doctorate in Nursing.  As a Rangely native he came back to CNCC to participate in our Nursing Program and signed up for Phi Theta Kappa for all the opportunities and scholarships offered to students.  He was also involved in the Student Nursing Association.

Deana Armstrong

Deana Armstrong, CNCC

Deana M. Armstrong is the Pastor of the First Congregational United Church of Christ, Craig, Colorado, and also works as a Gateway Tutor at Colorado Northwestern Community College. She is working on her Master of Arts in Counseling at Adams State University with a concentration in Mental Health.  

She enjoys writing and crocheting in her spare time. Her twelve-year-old cats, Copper and Bronze, chase her out of bed every morning. She plays violin in Cedar Mountain Ensemble. She serves as chaplain of the Moffat County Fuller Center for Housing and is the board secretary of for Love INC of the Yampa Valley. 

Lizabeth Schmedeke

Liz Schmedeke, CNCC

Lizabeth Schmedeke is a student attending her fourth semester at Colorado Northwest Community College where she plans to graduate in December with her associates degree in art. Lizabeth is an enthusiastic, energetic, free spirited young lady with a drive to pursue her goals to make her passion her career. She works as a work study at CNCC and also works part time as a clerical assistant at Yampa Valley Tire Pros in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. After she graduates CNCC she will continue to pursue her education at a four-year university to receive a fine arts degree for ceramics and glass work. In the future she plans to open her own art studio where she can express her creative talents and teach children and adults alike to do the same. One day she hopes to inspire a new age of artistic appreciation. 

Lizabeth is a Colorado native born in Grand Junction. When she was five years old, she moved with her family to Craig, Colorado where she grew up. Since she was a child Lizabeth has always had a passion for art. She spent her time drawing, painting, and creating. Lizabeth has experimented with several different techniques and types of art including ink print making, pottery, macrame, cross-stich, and calligraphy. Lizabeth loves spending her free time in the outdoors. She has a variety of hobbies during the summer such as fishing, floating the river, paddle boarding, shed hunting, hiking, and camping. During the winter months she spends her time ice fishing and hibernating. Lizabeth dreams of having the chance to travel and embrace differing cultures around the world. 

Workforce Pathway Students

Raeanna Scott


Raeanna Scott has lived many places, but she considers the Yampa Valley and the city of Craig, CO to be home.  Having lived in the area since 6th grade, she enrolled in the Automotive Program at Colorado Northwestern Community College to pursue her interest in the automotive field.  She developed this interest at a young age and sees it as a rite of passage as she follows in her parent’s footsteps. She says, “my mom has worked at auto parts stores for many years, and my dad is a mechanic, so I guess it is just in my blood. “ She saw what her parents did and wanted to learn how to do it herself, the proper way, learning the right tools and vocabulary, so she chose CNCC. 

Raeanna says, “I believe that if you enjoy the work that you are doing, you will never have to work a day of your life.  You get paid to do something that you love.  And for me, that is working on cars.  I love the hands-on work and also how it stimulates my brain to figure out what is wrong and how to fix it.  The puzzle-ness of it is so interesting.  All the way around, it is enjoyable, and you meet some pretty cool people.”