Ava McHone has retired as Bluestem BOE clerk after 35 years

In 1979 the Sony Walkman made its debut, 52 Americans were taken hostage in Iran, ESPN began broadcasting and Ava McHone went to work as the clerk for the Bluestem School Board.

Monday night a crowd of more than 30 people showed up at the board meeting, not for the agenda, but to say goodbye to McHone who is retiring after more than 34 years. Over cake and punch, many told stories about McHone’s years at the district.

“I think Ava served our district very well,” said Damian Korte, Bluestem School Board president. “She has touched a lot of lives and she will be missed.”

McHone, who grew up at Haverhill and attended school in Augusta, said she started working at Bluestem because her kids went to school there.

“It was a great job,” said McHone. “I was close to all of the activities my children were involved in.”

McHone, whose husband is also retired, says she plans to slow down, but not too much.

“I will still work at Walmart in Augusta a couple of days a week just to get out and see people,” said McHone. “We live out in the country and there is always plenty there to keep us busy.”