Joyce Stratford retires after 30 years at PCC
In May 1982, Joyce Stratford came to Pratt Community College to work as the switchboard operator, and to hopefully start a cosmetology program.
Stratford had worked at Fort Scott Community College prior to moving to Pratt, and was the director of the cosmetology program there for nine years. She was contacted by PCC about helping start the program, and hired her on as the switch board operator to keep Barton County Community College from hiring her.
“The Kansas Department of Education did not approve a cosmetology program,” Stratford said. “I had a job, so I stayed.”
She worked as the switchboard operator for two years, and then was asked to be the Administrative Assistance to the Vice President of Finance.
“When asked, I was surprised, because I hadn’t ever thought about it,” Stratford said. “So I made the change, and I’ve been in the same position for the last 28 years. They really took a chance on me because I’d never done anything like this.”
Her favorite memory at PCC was meeting her husband, Jim, but Stratford also enjoys meeting the students and staff.
“I have made some of my best friends here,” she said. “PCC has been such a big part of my life, and I love it; but it’s time.”
Stratford jokes that after she retires, she is going to do whatever she wants to. Her plans are to be outside for the whole summer, and to be in her new swimming pool, spend more time with her nine grandchildren, volunteer her time in the community and “Jim might even get a home cooked meal once in a while,” she said with a smile. Her plans also include planning to travel once Jim retires. The couple hopes to travel to Europe and China.
“The past 30 years just snuck up on me,” She said. “I had no clue I’d been here for 30 years. I just love my job, that’s what makes it so hard to leave.”
There will be a retirement party for Stratford on May 10 at 3 p.m. in the Faculty Emeritus Room in the Riney Student Conference Center.