Posted at 4 p.m. May 3, 2017

Custodian sets good example for Eagle Village

From Missouri to Wyoming, a woman’s journey to LCCC

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It takes a village:

Suzann Briggs has been a custodian for LCCC since 2006 and has brought joy and smiles along the way.

Brooke Darden

For those who live in the Eagle Village Residence Hall, there is a familiar face that brightens students’ day and has impacted their time here at Laramie County Community College.

She begins her day by exercising at 4 a.m. with her husband. Then she gets ready for the day and goes to work here at LCCC as the Eagle Village custodian.

She likes to clean the lounge area to begin with because that is the first place you see when entering Eagle Village. In the afternoon, she moves up the stairs and to other floors.

This familiar face, Suzann Briggs, greets everyone who walks by her while she’s vacuuming and makes sure she sets a good example.

Briggs was born on Sep. 14, 1957 in Springfield, Ill, and grew up in Lebanon, MO.. Growing up, she worked a lot and she loved to swim. Another activity she liked to do was sew. After her mother taught her how to, she sewed all of her clothes until she went to college.

“I got off the bus when I returned from college with a new outfit on and my parents didn’t even recognize me,” Briggs said.

She said her goal was always to marry a good Christian man and to be the mother and wife God wanted her to be; however, when she did very well on the ACT, she decided to go to college at Freed-Hardeman Christian College in Tennessee.

During her time there, she worked at the library and majored in something different each semester. Briggs majored in music, home economics and psychology.

She attended college for a year and a half, then decided to go out into the workforce.

During that time, her uncle asked if she would like to apply for a job at a college in downtown Dallas. Briggs had no idea what she wanted at the time, so her mom told her to weigh the advantages and disadvantages.

“I didn’t want to live off someone else, especially when my uncle had kids to raise,” Briggs said. “I’ve always been a country girl, so I was afraid to take that step into the city.”

Briggs decided to return and settle in Lebanon, MO. In Lebanon, she worked as a cashier hostess at Western Sizzlin’ Steakhouse and won an award for one of six top employees in the United States.

“The conference was in Las Vegas that year, but I was really hoping it was going to be in Hawaii,” Briggs said.

Briggs also worked in a factory in Lebanon for an electrical company who made test switches.

Briggs married at the age of 20 and was married to her first husband for a little over 23 years. Briggs and her husband had two daughters, Rebecca and Trina.

Life became hard in her marriage and it was not the same as it was in the beginning. “After being married for 23 years, it was hard being by myself,” Briggs said. “I had bills to pay and I had to raise my kids.”

During these times of trouble, Briggs looked to something higher than just talking to a friend. “Looking back now, God provided me with a job at a factory to help me during those trying times,” Briggs said.

Rebecca lives in Tennessee and Trina lives in Cheyenne.

While Briggs still lived in Missouri, she came out to see Trina often. While visiting, she would attend church with her daughter and her family.

“Trina introduced me to my current husband, Kurtis, who went to church with her,” Briggs said.

Trina told her mom to just call Kurtis, but Briggs said that the guy is always supposed to call first.

Briggs visited quite a bit and Trina told her that she was only visiting to see Kurtis and not her.

One of Briggs’ friends pointed out that Kurtis had never visited, so she asked him why he had never come out to Missouri.

“Well, I asked and he came down, married me, and brought me up here,” Briggs said. “Now we’ve been married 14 years, with my daughters, my step-son Greg Briggs,

and six grandchildren.”

Briggs and her husband have lived in Cheyenne for 14 years, and she has had a few jobs since then.

While cleaning for Point Frontier Retirement Community for two years, she received an Outstanding Commitment award. “If someone was gone, I had to know how to do everything so I could fill in,” Briggs said.

Briggs has been a custodian at LCCC since September of 2006. “I got a second interview and I had never heard of a second interview,” Briggs said. “I came in and asked if it meant I got the job and he said well, if I really wanted it.”

Briggs loves her job at LCCC because she gets to meet students from all over. “The kids keep me young,” Briggs said. “LCCC also has good benefits and I greatly appreciate that.”

One person who has become close to Briggs, is Karen Wentroble, who is the administrative assistant of Residential Living and Learning.

“We work good as a team. If she notices something I need to do, she lets me know and I do the same for her,” Wentroble said.

Not only are they co-workers, they have also become great friends.

“We are sounding boards for each other. It’s nice to get an outsider’s voice and someone outside of my family,” Wentroble said. “It’s nice to have someone you can vent to and talk to that may be going through the same thing.”

They have both had hard times throughout the years since Briggs started working at LCCC and they have been there for each other during those times.

“She’s always been there for me, so I try to be there for her too,” Wentroble said.

Briggs is also a huge part of the students’ lives.

“She is very personable and talks to all the students who walk through,” Wentroble said. “I think she makes the students feel at home.”

Briggs said she is always happy to see students and will stop what she is doing to talk with students.

“Suzann wouldn’t be who she is without her wanting to help anyone that was passing by, whether it be with directions, advice, or going completely out of her way to assist a student with a project or situation,” Jericho Goss said. Goss is studying automotive technology.

“Suzann is like a grandmother figure as she gives life advice and encourages myself, as well as other students, to strive to do their best,” Goss said.

Briggs has a smile on her face no matter what is going on in her life and makes sure that us students do the same.

“Suzann has impacted my life here at LCCC by bringing a smile to my face every morning with her welcoming ‘Good Morning,’ and her eventful stories about her weekend to be followed by, ‘Have a great day,’” Goss said.

Briggs makes sure to make each student feel welcome and at home.

“Last year, I had a student come up to me while I was walking out and he was saying how good of an influence I was to everyone,” Briggs said.

Briggs wants to set a good example for students, so at one point in their lives, they can do the same.

“She is a warm-hearted individual and we couldn’t have hired a better person for this job,” Wentroble said.


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