After more than three decades of helping Castaic students, Janene Maxon, assistant superintendent of educational services for the Castaic Union School District, announced her plans to retire this summer.
Maxon will be finishing the school year before her retirement begins July 1.
Maxon began her career in education as a substitute teacher for Live Oak Elementary School in 1988. She recalled substituting for a teacher who was on maternity leave, before being hired as a fourth-grade teacher the following year.
“I was at Live Oak for 12 years before moving to Castaic Middle School when it opened,” Maxon said.
Fourth- and fifth-grade students from Live Oak were transferred to Castaic Middle School when it opened due to large enrollment numbers, according to Maxon. There, she worked along with the assistant principal and principal to oversee the fourth- and fifth-grade classes.
“That was so fun. It was a great experience,” she said. “We all worked so well together and we set up traditions that are still done today.”
One of the traditions Maxon discussed was the fifth- (now sixth-) grade promotion celebration, which takes place over the last three days of school.
Once fourth- and fifth-grade students were moved back to Live Oak, Maxon returned, as well — only this time, she was now the principal.
“That was my most favorite job,” Maxon said. “It was fun to be a teacher, then come back as an administrator. I was able to get to know the other elementary schools.”
It was during that time Maxon felt content with her position. She said she thought she was “going to work at Live Oak until I’m 90.”
Five years after serving as principal, Maxon said she was offered the title she holds today, as assistant superintendent of educational services, but declined the offer twice.
“Live Oak was my happy place. I thought I was going to grow old and die there,” she said.
Jim Gibson, superintendent of the district at the time, convinced Maxon to accept the position by telling her she would have an impact at other school sites besides Live Oak.
“My parents taught me that I should be where I was needed, so I prayed about it with my family and decided that this was the next door to open,” Maxon said.
It was at that position Maxon would finish her career in the educational field. After 12 years of working as assistant superintendent, she said she’s ready to put away her calendar and enjoy spending time with family.
“I can’t believe I’ve been here for 32 years,” Maxon said. “Sometimes, I have to pinch myself because time goes by so fast.”