Bonnie Shipston– Dance Costumer

Brandon Hensley

As much as someone may love her job, some offers are just too good to turn down. Bonnie Shipston was in that position this year when Glendale Community College offered her “the golden handshake” retirement package.

“When they came out with the golden handshake, I just couldn’t resist,” said Shipston, who has worked at GCC since 1992.

It’s clear though that Shipston’s decision was a difficult one to make. “I have the very best job on campus…it’s very difficult for me to leave it.”

Shipston works in the dance and women’s physical education departments, including making costumes for dance productions. She says it’s a hectic schedule, as she and her coworkers deal with hundreds of students on a daily basis.

“It is fun. It is so fun and it’s never, never dull,” she said. “It’s hard to leave something you enjoy getting up in the morning to do.” Shipston enjoys her work so much she sometimes stays longer than her assigned hours. “I only get paid for eight, but I stay until the work is done.”

Shipston carries a sunny disposition, her cheery voice an indication of how much she loves working here. She says her time here has made her young at heart. She’s 65 years old, but describes herself as a “very young 65. The kids make me feel like I’m part of them.”

And really, the kids are what matter most to Shipston. “It’s hard when they leave after two, three years. Many of them come back and visit and I get so excited to see them and how they’ve changed and matured,” she said. She said she gets “all teary eyed” when her students return to visit.

Shipston, a student at Glendale in the 1970s, said getting the job at Glendale was “the best thing I ever did. I was widowed at 44 years old…. It was time to get out and do something instead of sitting at home and feeling sorry for myself.”

Once retired, Shipston plans to travel the country with her fiancé in their motor home. “I want to see everything,” she said, but noted, “I hope I don’t get old real fast.”

Old? Bonnie Shipston? Some words just don’t belong in the same sentence.