By JUDITH O. ETZEL
The longtime director of Polk State Center announced her retirement at a meeting Wednesday of the Polk Center board of trustees.
Shirley Pickens, facility director since 2009, will retire Jan. 10.
“This has been in the works for a long time and … is not a reaction to what is happening,” said Pickens in reference to the proposed closing of Polk Center.
She earned a bachelor of arts degree from Edinboro University and did additional post-graduate study in clinical psychology at Edinboro.
In 1981, she began working at Polk Center as a direct care employee.
“It has been a joy to work here, even with incredible challenges,” Pickens told the trustees. “I am so proud and happy to have been a part of Polk Center.”
The trustees passed a resolution honoring Pickens for “the excellent work you’ve done for the entire Polk community.”
In January, Polk-area resident Sue Rodgers will begin serving as acting director of Polk Center.
Rodgers, who is currently the facility’s clinical services director, has worked at Polk Center for 22 years.