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OJC Press Release ID: 2674

Monday, June 12, 2017

Mitchell retires from OJC after 31 years of service

Few can say they worked under every president of Otero Junior College from Dr. William McDivitt to Jim Rizzuto. Nancy Mitchell makes that list. In the 31 years she committed to OJC, she also worked alongside seven vice presidents of instruction and six associate vice presidents of instruction.

Mitchell arrived at OJC in February 1986 to fill the teen parent coordinator role, drawing on her bachelor’s degree in Social Work.  She then transitioned to LINK coordinator, working with single parents and displaced homemakers on building employment skills.

Her final role, director of Perkins and Career and Technical Education (CTE) compliance, allowed Mitchell to develop Perkins secondary and postsecondary plans and guide the college’s CTE programs.  Here she found her niche.

When asked about her greatest accomplishment at OJC, Mitchell replied, “The reputation of OJC’s CTE programs and Perkins and CTE compliance with the state. CTE is my passion!”

Passion for Career and Technical Education drove Mitchell’s career. She has served on numerous local and state committees and served two terms on the National Alliance of Partnership in Equity (NAPE) executive committee. 

Mitchell’s passion extended beyond the nine-to-five. She and husband Larry have attended nearly every athletic contest, concert, gala, fundraiser, or other campus event held over the past 30 years. 

Mitchell was instrumental in starting up Girls in the Middle twenty years ago. The goal of the conference is to encourage middle school girls to continue studying math, science and technology once they enter high school.  This event touches the lives of 100-200 girls in 6th through 8th grade throughout Southeastern Colorado each year.

In addition, Mitchell coordinated CTE camps for many years to introduce youth in the area to the variety of career and technical job opportunities available to them as future career paths.

A driving force for CTE, youth outreach and compliance, Mitchell will truly be missed.
What will she miss most? “I have worked with amazing faculty, staff and students over the years,” said Mitchell. “The people are what I will miss most. And aerobics class!”

Retirement activities will include farming and ranching as well as spending time with family and friends. As Mitchell steps away from her professional role at OJC, it is doubtful that she will step away completely. Expect to see the Mitchells at athletics and special events in the years to come.

Press Release Photo
Nancy Mitchell, retires from OJC after 31 years of service.