By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
“You can’t replace Kathy,” said Roy Lambert at a party on Thursday, Dec. 8 celebrating the work and retirement of Kathy Dugan, Cherokee Cooperative Extension director. “You’ll never replace her. You may get someone in the position, but you’ll never get someone who does all that she does.”
Dugan retired Thursday after 16 years on the job. She started as a 4-H agent in 1995.
“It’s been great,” Dugan said of her time working with the Extension office. “I’ve seen all of the communities really grow and a lot of things change. I’m looking forward to retirement.”
She said she plans to spend time with family and is hoping to be able to visit her son Josh who is stationed with his family in Japan.
Dugan said one of the most memorable experiences of working with Extension was “traveling with the Costa Rica study tour and seeing the change in the students and their parents and the impact of the trip on their lives.”
The Extension Office was full on Thursday of people wishing to honor Dugan and her work.
“Kathy is so personable,” said Rob Hawk, who is the extension director for both Swain and Jackson Counties. From 1997-2000, he worked in the Cherokee Extension Office as a community development, agriculture and 4-H agent. “She’s real. A large part of my training as an agent goes back to Kathy.”
Valorie Welch, Cherokee Extension Office, commented, “In everything that we do, you are always there to help. Kathy is always there for us as a friend and as a boss.”
“Kathy, you’re irreplaceable. She just set a perfect example of leadership.”
Dr. Keith Baldwin, 4-H extension associate with N.C. A&T University, said, “We want to thank you so much for the work you’ve done here. Throughout all of the years, Kathy has remained a solid rock.”
Prior to working with the Extension office, Dugan worked for 14 years as an elementary school teacher.