Vickie Bates is in her 17th year—you heard me correctly, her 17th year—as an Educational Assistant in the Site-based Special Education classroom here at AMS. Starting as a volunteer in 2005, she made herself indispensable and was hired as an EA the following year. Having grown up in Southern California, she and her husband, Don, moved up to Ashland in 1988 looking for a good place to raise a family. “We liked the small community and people here are very friendly. When you walked into the bank you were greeted by someone who knew you. And we loved the schools! Our kids went to school with the same kids K-12. It’s a great place to raise a family!”

Together with Don, Vickie raised three children in Ashland: Michael, who is a police officer in Medford; Lin who lives in San Diego; and Lee who lived in Hawaii before passing away 11 years ago. Devoted to her family, Vickie loves spending time with her kids and her grandchildren. Additionally, she and Don love to hike whenever the weather is nice.

About AMS, Vickie says, “I love being with the kids! I often get to spend 3 or 4 years with kids in our program, which means we develop strong relationships with our kids and our families. It’s really nice to see them in high school and afterwards because we have become so close. We’re like a family here.”