Lee Richardson Zoo says goodbye to retiring director

GARDEN CITY, Kan.– Kathy Sexson has been the Director at Lee Richardson Zoo for the last nine years and has been part of the zoo staff for the last 30, and her hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“She grew the education division for the zoo and really put it on, not only a national map, but a world map,” said City Manager Matt Allen.

With overwhelming community support, she said she’s just been doing the job she loves.

“It’s just a great place to work,” said Sexson.  “You know, if you get frustrated or stressed out and you need a break you can just walk outside and hear the lions roaring, or see a baby giraffe.”

Her modesty hasn’t kept the community and colleagues from showing their gratitude.

The city will try to fill the position in the next few months, but Allen said what she’s done for the zoo and the city as a whole is immeasurable.

“It sounds cliché to say she took the zoo to another level, but she really did, she took it to the next level and we’re really proud of what she’s accomplished,” said Allen.

Sexson is looking forward to retiring in Garden City and getting the chance to travel, relax, and spend time with family, but she said she won’t forget the admiration from the community.

“It’s very nice to be appreciated and know what you do is meaningful to people, so that is great,” she said, “But I do what I do because it has value to me.”

She said she’ll still be around the zoo, but is excited to enjoy it from the other side of the fence.

The city will start interviewing director applicants from all over the country at the beginning of next week.

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