BAXTER SPRINGS - On Tuesday, Dec. 19, Vicki Bradley, Clerk of USD 508 Board of Education, turned the key to her office for the last time.

Bradley is retiring after almost 39 years of service to USD 508. She began working in February 1979, as secretary to Superintendent John R. Hughes. After he passed away unexpectedly two weeks later, an interim Superintendent Milo Peterson filled in until July 1979, when Maynard Mitchell from Goodland became the Superintendent. Then came Jim Harris from Sedan, Tim Burns who moved up from HS Principal, Dennis Burke from Riverton, and now David Pendergraft, who moved up from HS Principal.

Bradley has spent almost 28 years serving as board clerk. She became clerk in 1990 when her predecessor, Lois Sturgeon, had to leave for health reasons. In researching, Bradley has served as Clerk of the Board longer than any other person as far back as 1918. A lady named Grace Perkins served 22 years up into sometime in the 50's.

"When I began working in the district, we did everything by hand as we had no computers anywhere in the district," Bradley said.

The first computers were purchased in the early 80's by Truman Smith for his upper math classes. The district office went on computer in 1988 and now every child has access to a computer.

"USD 508 has been a blessing to me and my family and it is a wonderful place to work. I will miss all my colleagues, but am looking forward to this new phase of my life. It has been great having the administration and board support me throughout my career! Carrie Oakes will be the new board clerk when Bradley retires. I'm sure that the district will be in good hands and will continue to provide a top notch education for our students. I'd like to thank all the staff of USD 508 and the community for their support through the years - I will treasure my memories here forever."