When you have a quick question about your child’s school, who do you call? When your child feels feverish or has a stomachache, who do they go to for immediate comfort? The answer is simple — the school’s front office secretary.

 These front office workers know everyone who is entering their school and over time, they come to learn about every young student that goes there. While they have two kids waiting off to the side for their parent to come pick them up, they are fielding calls from parents and taking care of all the office duties. They seem to know where everyone is at any given moment.

 When my kids were young, there were times when they started feeling lousy once they got to school. They knew they could go to the office and be taken care of while waiting for us to pick them up and take them home. If they forgot an assignment or book, they knew they could go to the office so that one of the workers could call me or my husband. It’s like having an extra mom keeping an eye on all our kids. Schools tend to keep extra kid-sized clothing on hand just in case a mud puddle consumes a pair of sneakers or slacks. Those secretaries keep track of it all.

 We at the Times often rely on these secretaries and office workers to help us with our job, too. Occasionally, we ask a specific grade level a question for our Street Talk feature. We too, want to hear what our youngest residents’ opinions are on various topics. A quick call to the secretary gets the ball rolling. They know which students can have their photo taken by media and they coordinate the question time with the kids.

 The secretaries, aides, and other employees in the front office are the eyes and ears of each school. When a parent or visitor stops by, office employees have control over who enters the building. These same employees put Band-Aids on scraped elbows and keep track of any medication on file for each student. Some students walk down to the front office each day to take a prescribed medication. I’ve heard that a piece of candy goes a long way to make a medicine stop at the office much better, not that I want to get anyone in trouble.

 Administrators typically have their offices behind the front office desk. Appointments to see the principal, athletic director, counselors and others go through the school secretary, all while they are juggling students stopping by with a need or a parent dropping off items for their kids. Talk about multi-tasking.

 It’s apparent that these office angels love what they do and I’m sure the next time you walk into the front office of your child’s school you will be met with a warm smile and helping attitude.

 Sharon Stone is the editor of the Tri-County Times. To contact her, email her at sstone@tctimes.com or call her at (810) 433-6786.

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