100 Mile Elementary School secretary Sybille Vogel. (Submitted photo)

Administrative professionals put their best foot forward

Administrative Professionals’ Day was April 22

While COVID-19 has radically changed the way schools operate, administrators like secretaries are still working hard to support both teachers and children every day.

A school secretary, in addition to answering phones and manning the front desk, is involved in many aspects of maintaining and running a successful school. From ordering supplies to accounting, they often fill in wherever they’re needed in the best of times and the worst of times.

Horse Lake Elementary’s secretary Helen Weston has been working with SD27 since 2016. Weston said she moved to the area because her husband is from here and has since fallen in love with the lakes, the quiet and the overall serenity of the area. She’s lived in the Bridge Lake area since 1997 and got into administration many years ago due to her twin loves of accounting and people.

“I tend to gravitate to positions where you get to deal with the public. In the case of the school, it was a bonus because I love dealing with kids,” Weston remarked with a laugh.

In addition to her usual day to day secretarial duties like attendance and make announcements Weston said she gives out bandaids to children with scraped knees, helps the principal out with whatever they may need, supports teachers as needed and keeps the staff up to date on what’s going on with their hours.

Since COVID-19 shut down the school, Weston said she’s been helping the teachers keep their students up to date on what’s going on and how best to adjust to online learning. She’s also been in charge of picking up packages and getting packages of school supplies/material together for the children to use.

Otherwise, Weston is doing her best to maintain social distancing and keep her workspace clean, ensuring she wipes down equipment after she uses them.

“We are missing our kids, it’s not the same being in the school with no little ones running around and hearing their happy giggles, or seeing their smiling faces, that’s so different,” Weston said.

She encourages everyone to keep doing what they’re doing during these trying times and listen to Dr. Bonnie Henry. If we keep social distancing, we’ll be able to flatten that curve, Weston said, and things will then get back to normal sooner rather then later.

At 100 Mile Elementary, meanwhile, the front desk is staffed by Sybille Vogel who has lived in 100 Mile for close to 24 years now and has worked for School District 27 for 11 years, seven of which were spent at 100 Mile Elementary.

“It’s fun working at the school because there are lots of different things you do, it’s not just an office job. You have contact with students and parents on top everything else,” Vogel said.

Her personal favourite part of the job, Vogel said, is the accounting as she has always been a numbers person. She also enjoys having a job that gives her at least two months off every year over the summer.

Much like Weston, Vogel said she’s more focused on supporting the educational efforts of students and teachers by making spreadsheets for what the students need to succeed. She’s also in charge of handing the learning materials out to parents when they come to pick them up.

Overall, she said the mood of the staff is positive and that their greatest challenge has been adjusting to the needs of individual children. Vogel said that she’s been helping students get set up for at-home learning with setting up programs and accounts for various online activities.

She’d like to remind parents that they can feel free to reach out to the school if they’re having trouble with their children’s education by calling 250-395-2258.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

108 Mile Heritage Market open for business

Vendors and clients are welcome to attend and visit the site

100 Mile House Council adopts COVID-19 Re-opening Policy for next 12 to 16 months

An increased focus on sanitization and cleanliness is the main focus of these new policies

Hospice campaign going better than expected

‘We’ve been quite surprised with how many people have wanted to get involved’

100 per cent of Cariboo businesses have had to reduce employee hours or lay employees off, study finds

This survey was conducted by the BC Chamber of Commerce called the COVID-19 Impact Pulse Check #3

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Most Read