After 20 years with the Colorado Northwestern Com-munity College, Bobbie Vetter is retiring.
Vetter, 59, has been the community education director in South Routt County for that entire time, and she has overseen Emergency Medication Services training for the college for the past six years.
In that role, she has worked with a range of students with one thing in common -- they are improving themselves and their lives.
"That's truly the gratification, is watching people be able to make a life-changing change for themselves and their family," Vetter said.
Bob Rizzuto, chief administrative officer for CNCC, said the college was sad to see Vetter go.
"She's been such an asset and a cornerstone of the college for 20 years," Rizzuto said. "Definitely, we wouldn't be where we're at without her."
Vetter's position will not be filled, but the college will maintain the center and classes in Oak Creek, Rizzuto said. Mary Shearer now will be responsible for community education and post-secondary enrollment for all CNCC communities.
The choice not to fill Vetter's opening, in part, is because of the ever-tightening funding, but also is part of an effort to provide a new continuity for the college, Rizzuto said.
Vetter's position of emergency medical service training director will be filled by Sandy Kloos of Craig.
Tammy Gilleland, a teacher at Soroco High School who also teaches at CNCC, said Vetter has been "invaluable."
Vetter is the reason the South Routt center of CNCC has been so successful, Gilleland said.
"She will be greatly missed," Gilleland said. "She's definitely made an impact out here in a lot of different areas."
As community education director, Vetter identified the courses the South Routt campus would offer. Those ideas often were sparked by people telling her what training or classes they needed, or by people telling her what they wanted to teach.
She's put together schedule after schedule for fall, spring and summer courses, helped register the about 150 students each semester, contracted with instructors, advised students and coordinated the program through which high school students can enroll in college classes.
"If everybody truly looked, they'd find something they want to do," she said about the variety of classes.
Vetter's career in education began in a middle school, where she taught English. She stopped teaching to have her oldest child, then eventually started working with CNCC.
She proposed and was given the position from which she is now retiring. Her father was a public school administrator, and Vetter said she's always felt comfortable with the work.
Vetter said she is looking forward to retirement, when she'll travel a little and spend time with her family, including her two daughters and five granddaughters.
Her time at CNCC has gone by quickly.
"It doesn't seem like it's been 20 years," she said.
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