Bev Wolford retires after 27 years in Budd School office

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LOUDONVILLE - Bev Wolford is retiring this summer after 33 years of work in the C.E. Budd School in Loudonville, the last 27 in the school office.

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She started in the fall of 1989 as a server in the Budd School cafeteria, working there while also working as a cosmetologist at Prime Cut in Loudonville.

Later, she began work as a library aide, again at Budd School, for a while working in both places, in the cafeteria under Vivian Wendling, and the library under Donna Richert.

She moved to the school office, “I think in 1995, when Jeff Staggs was the principal of the building. Margie Danner was the secretary, and I was hired as the office aide,” she said.

Staggs actually was the second of five principals that Wolford worked under. While she was in the cafeteria and library, Lynn Riggenbach was the principal. Staggs was there for two years, followed by Steve Orchard, who ran the building for 20 years; then Lisa Gonzales; and finally, for the past four years, Kelly Seboe.

She wasn’t shy about defining Orchard as her favorite: “He was a phenomenal principal,” she said. “He had his way of running a school,” she said, but added “I really like working with Kelly Seboe, too. He just hasn’t been here as long.”

She doesn’t remember what year she moved up from aide to secretary, which happened when Margie Danner retired. “After Margie, Bev Spreng worked as my office aide for eight years, and Sherry Hannan for the eight years since. Bev left the office to become the school’s EMIS (Educational Management Information System) coordinator, and Sherry is taking over as the school’s secretary.

Highlights during her 27 years in the C.E. Budd School office

Asked if there were any highlights in her 27 years in the school office, she pointed to the move of the school office from the second floor of the Budd building to the first floor, by the east entrance to the building, seven years ago.

“The move was made for security purposes, with the office moved to what became the main entrance to the building, but it had positive things in it for me,” Wolford smiled. “With the new office, we got new furniture, for me the first time I would work with a new desk.”

There were lots of other highlights, most involving the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at the Budd School.

“As a staff, we worked very well together, always committed to helping the kids,” she said. “Staff members also did lots of little, fun things for each other. We enjoyed a Secret Santa program each holiday season, as well as dressing up for the holidays and decorating classroom and office doors.”

Another highlight she specifically remembered was three years ago when she met Lolita Eberhart, a longtime teacher in the building, and principal Lynn Riggenbach, who was principal when she worked in the cafeteria, for lunch one afternoon. “That was really nice,” she said.

“This has always been a good place to work,” she added. “I intended to retire when my younger grandson moved out of this school to the junior high three years ago, but between COVID coming and me enjoying the work, I just never got around to it.”

Graduated from Loudonville High School in 1972

Wolford grew up in Loudonville, the third or five children of Richard and Leona Conrad, and graduated from Loudonville High in 1972. She married Rick Wolford, whom she had been dating since she was a freshman in high school, in November of 1972.

They raised two children, Jeremy (Cindy) Wilford and Shannon Motz, and have four grandchildren. Jeremy lives in Loudonville and works at Mohican Adventures, serving as his mom’s new boss in her part-time job at the campground.

Shannon lives in the Cloverleaf School District.

Right out of high school, she worked at the Mohican Lodge, and then at the old Ben Franklin Store in downtown Loudonville for 10 years. In the meantime, she went to cosmetology college and afterwards began work at the Prime Cut salon in Loudonville.

While at Prime Cut, she started a second job at the school cafeteria, which evolved in to her full-time school secretarial career.

In addition to working at the campground, in retirement she and Rick plan to do some traveling.

“Rick is a serious member of the Mohican Hiking Club, and started his bid to hike the Appalachian Trail this year, doing the first 80 miles,” she said. “We hope to do bits of the trail over the next few years.”

This article originally appeared on Ashland Times Gazette: THIS WEEK'S PERSONALITY: Wolford retires after 33 years in Budd School