After 35 years of exceptional service and contribution to the citizens of the San Luis Valley, Maxine Lujan, SLV Area Extension office manager and administrative assistant is taking a well-earned retirement.
If you or your kids were ever in 4-H, Maxine enrolled you in 4-H, registered you for the SLV Fair, advanced your projects to the state fair, took your reservations for 4-H Achievement Night, and answered your calls for help. If you ever attended the Southern Rocky Mountain Ag Conference or its predecessor the Potato and Grain School, Maxine registered you. If you ever came to the Extension office with a weed, a bug, or just needed a hug, Maxine always welcomed you and steered you in the right direction.
Maxine joined the SLV Extension team as the 4-H secretary in October of 1986. Before this, she had been a police officer working especially with juveniles. Her story of switching from a career of dealing with youth after they were in trouble to a career of fostering healthy youth and developing kids into strong, confident leaders will warm your heart. She indeed has helped raise two generations of productive, San Luis Valley citizens.
In 2002, Maxine was promoted to office manager, which means she still did 4-H, but also now ran the office, kept Extension agents in line, served any citizen who called or came in the office for any reason, and became the one consistent force holding everything together in a changing organization.
When asked what she has in mind for her retirement, three things are always on her mind. Family, fishing, and starting an Abuela program at her church so she can take young children who need an extra grandma in their lives under her wing and teach them how to sew buttons back on their jackets instead of throwing them away.
If you are one of the thousands of people Maxine has served in the past 35 years, come share a memory, have ice cream and cake, and show your appreciation for her, this is your chance. The Extension staff is hosting an open house in her honor Friday, Sept. 24. It will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the SLV Area Extension office, 1899 East Highway 160 by the Monte Vista Coop.