Who says you cant go home again?
For Ken Shepherd, who works in the maintenance and operations department at Big Sandy
Community and Technical College (BSCTC), theres no place like home.
Shepherd spent 37 years doing factory work in New Jersey. When he retired, he packed
his bags and returned home to his roots in the small Floyd County community of Martin.
I worked all those years because I wanted to provide for my family, and I wanted to
work so I could work on returning home, said Shepherd. He has five children, eight
grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. In May, Shepherd was recognized as an Ambassador
by BSCTC President and CEO Dr. George D. Edwards.
The 1952 graduate of Martin High School enjoyed retirement but missed work. He began
working as a tax preparer for AARP in the spring of 2001. It was April and that job
was ready to end. Shepherd had a chance encounter with a BSCTC employee he was preparing
taxes for and asked Whats the chances of getting a job there [BSCTC]?
Shepherd went to work at the college shortly thereafter.
Work is really 90 percent of just liking where you work, he added. Ive been very lucky.
Ive worked in jobs that I love. I love the college, I love its mission and I love
interacting with the students, faculty and staff. Its a great place to work and I
get so much out of it.
Shepherd turned 80 years old earlier this year. In September, he and his wife, Floretta,
will celebrate 61 years of marriage.
Shepherd credits his vest for life to his family. He recalled a gift he received at
Christmas of a quilt with photos of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
I look at that quilt and think how blessed I am, he said. I come to work everyday,
and the blessings continue.