James "Jim" Conley

James Jim Conley
Mayo/BSCTC 1980-2007

Jim and Family Jim Conley graduated from Prestonsburg High School with the hopes of attending Mayo State Vocational Technical School (MSVTS). His mother, a grade school teacher, and his sister, a college student, felt he should attend Berea College. He did go to Berea and that is where he met the person, Chris Roelker, whom he would marry fourteen years later. But after two years at Berea, he decided that was not where he should be. He pursued an industry job and worked with both Armco Steel and Ford Motor Company in Ohio and Michigan. His education and work experience at Berea aided him greatly in attaining the positions with the companies in the industrial complex.

After serving eight years in the Air Force and attending the Universal Technical Institute in Nebraska, he came full circle by returning to eastern Kentucky. He enrolled at MSVTS l in 1979. As he was finishing his program of study in Industrial Electricity, Exide Industrial Battery representatives came to the Mayo campus to interview for positions with their company. Jim interviewed and was hired on the spot as a Field Service Engineer.

In 1980, Conley was employed as an instructor in the Industrial Electricity Department at MSVTS. His 27 years of teaching Industrial Electricity were very rewarding. According to Jim, Although the school had several different names over the years, the mission never changed. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to perhaps make a small difference in the lives of the many students with whom I came in contact. I have dear friends from the very first class I taught. And, nothing is more rewarding than seeing someone you care about grow and succeed. Even after his retirement, his love for teaching and his concern for students brought him back as an adjunct faculty member for four years.

Jim married his dear wife, Chris, in December of 1980. Today, they are retired from Big Sandy Community and Technical College and live in Lexington, an area they both absolutely love. Jim exclaimed, As a matter of fact, Jeff Hicks told me on the day of Chriss retirement party that we were moving to Lexington. It was a surprise to me, but I guess he was right. Two of Jims grandchildren live near them and they have many friends in the area. He recently said, We do miss being home at times, but I dont think we could have found a better place to spend retirement. Life is very good here.

The two of them have been free to travel since they are no longer working the 8 to 4:30 jobs. Conley stated, By traveling, I mean that we have been to Atlanta five times since we moved here. One good reason for that is we found out in March of this year that our son and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Amanda, are having their first child, Brandon, in November. This will be Chriss first grandchild. We, to say the least, are thrilled. Pictures, many pictures, WILL be posted.

Jim and Chis invite one and all to visit any time. Their home phone is 859-368-9598. Jim also can be contacted at his cell number 606-454-8908 or via email atjconley31@hotmail.com.