1/4/2014 1:18:00 PM Mingus' Val Moore caps 34-year career
Retiring Mingus Union High School District board secretary and executive assistant Val Moore accepted a plaque Tuesday night from superintendent Paul Tighe during the last meeting of her 34-year career. Yvonne Gonzalez/VVN
Two small buildings made up Mingus Union High School in 1980 when Val Moore joined the staff as a special education secretary and classroom aid.
Over the next 34 years, Moore would hold positions both in the classroom and the district office, serving as a secretary to several of Mingus' principals and superintendents.
"I just loved it here. It's like a family," Moore said. "Everybody knows everybody, and it's kind of like its own community."
She started as the superintendent's secretary in 1994, and served as the executive secretary from 2007 on.
"When I started, I used a typewriter," she said. "We had electric typewriters. We didn't get any computers until the late '80s."
Part of her role as executive secretary is to organize each of the district board meetings. Her last was Thursday's meeting, when Superintendent Paul Tighe presented her with a plaque and each board member gave her a hug.
The audience included Moore's husband, daughter, son, son-in-law and grandbaby Jack, as well as a few co-workers.
Marv Lamer was the superintendent Moore worked for the longest, and the one she learned the most from.
"They're all really good, and Dr. Tighe is a good guy to work for," Moore said.
She said her plan had been to retire after last spring, but she decided to stay on through 2013.
"I had been planning on it for years and it just wasn't the right time," she said. "Things seemed to fall into place. The new leadership is really good."
As the school continues to evolve, she hopes the district continues to implement and teach new technology.
"I'm really excited about their new solar project," Moore said. "I hope that helps them save money so they can maybe use it in other ways to benefit the staff and students."
Moore and her husband James, who retired from the cement plant in Clarkdale two years ago, met when they were both students at Mingus. Traveling and sleeping in are her main plans for retirement.
"My husband and I are going to golf," she said. "He's been retired for two years, so I'm just joining him."
Board president James Ledbetter told Moore she had been "marvelous to work with."
"You've made what I do much easier," he said.
Moore said she was going to miss everyone.
"You guys have all been great," she said. "I'm going to miss this place."
Board member Anita Glazar said she was almost going to cry.
"There are some people you're used to having around and it just makes everything better, and you're one of those people," Glazar said.
Tighe recognized Brandi Sauer, who will be taking over Moore's position.
"She's a Mingus grad and is deeply rooted in the community, and she knows everybody," Tighe said. "I was thinking, how do you replace Val? Finding someone who knows everyone is a great way to start."