Sarah Lambert to retire after 25 years with CMC in Rifle
RIFLE – Sarah Lambert’s great sense of humor is one of the things that will be missed most by her co-workers when she retires from Colorado Mountain College’s Rifle campus after 25 years on July 28.Lambert started at CMC in 1981 as a secretary to the oil shale training center during the boom days.”Mostly what we did was welding instruction,” Lambert said. “We put a lot of people through that program.”But when Black Sunday hit on May 2, 1982, and the oil shale industry pulled out of the area, the program fell apart and enrollment dropped way off, she said.Lambert has worn several different hats during her tenure at CMC, the latest as the division director.
Her own college degree is in zoology from Northern Arizona University (NAU), which is where she met her husband, Keith, now the mayor of Rifle.While Keith went to school to be certified in elementary education, Sarah worked for NAU and then got a job with Northland Pioneer College in Holbrook, Ariz., as secretary to the dean of students. After three years, she was in charge of independent studies.The Lamberts moved to Rifle and had the first of their two daughters in May 1981, and in July of that year, Sarah began her career with CMC.”I enjoy education, although teachers don’t make a whole lot of money,” she said with a smile. “But it’s really cool to see somebody walk in the door not feeling the greatest about themselves and wanting to improve themselves. They want more education because they think that’s going to help them.”And it does.
“Through the process, we see them mature and grow and we see them turn on,” Lambert said. “They grow, and they feel good about themselves. That’s what kept me here, and I’ll miss that.”Lambert’s co-workers say they’ll miss her, too.”Sarah is the one in this office that we all go to for advice and information,” said CMC administrative assistant Susan Wagstrom, who has worked with Lambert for the past 23 years. “She has tremendous knowledge. Everybody respects her and adores her. She’ll leave a big, huge void here – we can’t replace that knowledge.”Lambert’s sense of humor is also one of the biggest things that will be missed.”I’ll miss hearing that laughter ring through the office,” Wagstrom said. “She’s a dear, dear friend. She provides such a sense of continuity and stability for this place. She’s a genuinely caring person, and it shows in the type of work she’s done. And I’ll miss her sense of humor – I’ll miss all of it.”
Lambert is the first person to start her career at the CMC Rifle campus and retire there. And through the years she has seen big changes in technology and the college’s curriculum.”When I first started, we had to type all our bulletins or write them out in longhand,” Lambert said with a laugh. “Then we had to hand-stick the labels on the bulletins. Now it’s bulk mailing and all electronic. And there were no computer classes – it was all community stuff.”With her retirement she will join her husband, who retired a year ago as a teacher in the Re-2 school district.So what will she do?”I want to be able to travel more and be more flexible,” Lambert said. “But what I’ll miss most are the people at CMC – the staff and the students.”A retirement open house party will be held for Lambert from 4-7 p.m. Monday, July 24, at the Brickyard Square restaurant on Third Street in Rifle. Everyone is invited to attend.
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