‘I hope I did some good along the way’

  • Josh Burton/WDN At right, Mayor Mike Brown honors Callie Waldrop at Friday’s Weatherford City Commission meeting. The mayor gave Waldrop sunflowers from the community garden in Weatherford.

Callie Waldrop, director of the Pioneer Center in Weatherford, has announced her last day will be this Monday after nearly 11.5 years with the Pioneer Center.

Callie has been working at the Pioneer Center since she took the job of administrative assistant to then director Linda Olsen in 2009. She took on the director role after Olsen retired in 2013.

“I’ve always been fond of the Pioneer Center because of the good it does for our community,” Callie said. “The comradery with the people who come there is outstanding. They’re just good people, and they made it a very nice place to work. I’m pleased we were able to offer so many programs and services.”

Callie said she enjoys the variety of activities the center offers, but her favorite is the big bake sale the Saturday before Thanksgiving. She said the event takes a lot of work, but it brings in money for the center’s activities.

The center provides a place of fellowship and friendship for the senior citizens in the Weatherford community. She said for some, the lunch service is the highlight of their day and possibly the best meal they will eat.

Callie also is very involved with the center’s participants. She talks with them, writes them notes and cards for their birthdays or anniversaries and tries to send everyone a card for Christmas — something she will continue to do long after leaving the director position.

“It’s never dull because I might have a list on my desk of what I wanted to accomplish that day, but at the end of the day I may have only accomplished two things because something unanticipated happened,” Callie said.

While Callie has enjoyed her time working with the seniors at the center, she said it was time to focus on some personal projects.

“I’m certainly old enough to retire,” she said. “I feel like it’s my second career after being a teacher for a long time. I have things I want to do personally, and I want to be able to do them without having to watch a clock. I may nap some. I may stay up late. I may sleep late.”

Callie was born and raised in Weatherford, attending SWOSU earning a master’s degree in education. Callie retired after 31 years of teaching Title I reading. While she spent most of that career at Clinton, she also has taught at Lawton, Amarillo, Texas, and Lookeba-Sickles among others.

After retiring from teaching, Callie worked at a local testing company and then took a job as an assistant at the Weatherford Area Chamber of Commerce before moving to the Pioneer Center in 2009.

Callie said she plans to remain active in the community and will remember her time with the Pioneer Center fondly.

“It was a worthwhile experience and I hope I did some good along the way,” she added.