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RetiringRetiring after 25 years at ATVS and KCKCC, Terry and Ron Bales will be heading for their dream home in Westcliffe, Colo. ((KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
When it comes to retiring, it doesn’t get much better than those retirement years that are ahead for Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Ron and Terry Bales.
Both 25-year teaching veterans will be moving to their dream home in Westcliffe, Colo., once Terry’s finished with her teaching in June.
“I’ve been watching that home for a couple of years and when the price came down last year, we jumped on it,” Terry said. A four-bedroom, three-bathroom home with two fireplaces, an outdoor hot tub and a three-car garage, offers plenty of room for friends and family to visit. The home sits 9,000 feet up in the spectacular Sangre de Christo (Blood of Christ) mountain range about 60 miles west of Pueblo not far from where Ron grew up in Rocky Ford.
Avid nature lovers and travelers, the home also offers an amazing doorway to animal life. “We even have our own herd of nine deer,” Ron said. “My sister lives across the road and she feeds them soda crackers. They even wait around for her to come out.”
Other wildlife including an occasional bear abound, there’s ample streams for trout fishing and plenty of trails for their ATV (all-terrain vehicle) and two Jeeps to maneuver. “We love to go on the four-wheel trails and look at the wild life so there’s lots to do,” Terry said.
Ron is also a member of the American Legion Post in Custer County and Terry a member of the Legion Auxiliary and both are active in the Methodist Church. “I have a lot of things I want to do but if we run out of things to do, we love to travel,” Terry said.
Both Ron and Terry started at what was the Area Vocational and Technical School at 59th and Parallel. It was merged with KCKCC five years ago – a merger, which both say has worked out exceptionally well. “It’s been very good, wonderful,” they agree.
Ron began as an instructor in Auto Collision Repair Technology at ATVS in 1972. Six years later, he would leave to join private industry before returning in 1995. “I worked for MAACO overseeing 54 shops in nine states from 1979-83 and then was self-employed owning two body shops from 1983-95.”
Now a professor in auto collision repair, Ron is the lead lecturer for 38 students at KCKCC’s new Auto Collision Repair and Auto Technology Center at 65th and State. “It’s a great facility, so much cleaner and better ventilation,” said Ron, who holds a BA from Colorado State in Pueblo and a Masters from Pittsburg State.
Meanwhile, Terry has been at ATVS and KCKCC for the last 25 years, the first 18 teaching computer applications. In 2007, she started the Medical Assistance Program where she teaches students the many responsibilities of being a medical assistant. “Medical Assistants’ room patients, take vital signs, give injections, handle insurance and coding and other administrative work,” Terry said.
Starting a new program, Terry admits, was a “big job” but one that was well worth the effort. “It’s been successful,” she said. “We start each fall with 20 students who take two semesters of 16 credits each. Then in the summer they work 160 hours in a doctor’s office where they get hands-on experience. This is a six credit externship.”
A native of Memphis, Tenn,, Terry has a Business Education degree from the University of Memphis and a Masters from Pittsburg State.
It was the ATVS that brought Ron and Terry together when Ron returned in 1995. After several years of dating, they married in 2001. Ron has four children whom the couple expects will visit the Colorado home in the beautiful summer months. “All the children and grandchildren love the outdoors,” he said.