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Greeting parents with a smile
Mill Creek Elementary front office ladies love their jobs
Mill Creek office toned
They may be climbing the walls in this photo, but the front office staff at Mill Creek Elementary School really love their jobs. Pictured, left to right: Heather Beverlin, Lisa Sells, Ginny Bedwell and Betty Chester. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    For parents, being called to the front office of the school their child attends can be a traumatic experience, especially if there is something wrong. The professionals in the Mill Creek Elementary School office understand that, and try their best to set all parents at ease once they enter the halls of Mill Creek.
    Secretary Heather Beverlin, bookkeeper Lisa Sells, data clerk Ginny Bedwell, and part-timer Betty Chester know that first impressions are critical. According to Dr. Trey Robertson, principal at Mill Creek for the past four years, “Their temperaments are such that one of them is always able to find a way to communicate with the parent(s) what needs to be done.”
    Robertson said the team knows they are the first to see and greet people coming into the school.
    “They understand that theirs is a service position,” Robertson said. “Their primary job is to help the teachers be successful at what they do. There is a ton of paperwork that must be done to document what the teachers are doing, and the office staff does a tremendous job taking care of as much of it as possible.”
    Robertson said the retirement of Chester as secretary a few years ago, really brought the team together.
    “Once Betty retired, everything became a team effort,” Robertson said. “Heather (Beverlin), Betty’s replacement, soon learned what had to be done, and she, Lisa, and Ginny became best buddies. Then, Betty came back as a part-time paraprofessional, and things really began to hum.”
    One of the reasons the ladies take such pride in what they do is that they are school families as well as employees: Beverlin’s two children (Cole & Lucas), Sells’ two children (Riley & Lindsey), and Chester’s grandchild (Taylor) are currently attending Mill Creek.
    Chester said she knows why the kids love the group.
    “We don’t give them homework, we don’t discipline them, so they don’t see us as the big bad guys,” she said. “In fact, we cuddle them when they need it, and bring them whatever mom and dad drop off in the front office.”
    Beverlin explained how seriously they take their jobs:
    “You can be the difference between parents having a difficult day if you just do what you have to do, or making their day easier by getting them the information they need, for instance, about another school, instead of making them drive all over town to find it themselves.”
    Bedwell agreed, “I love coming to work here, because it just like going from one big happy family to another. It really is a feel-good environment: who wouldn’t want to go to work in that?”   
    Beverlin, who has lived in several countries, said proudly: “I’ve been to many schools where the front office staff told to drop off your kids and leave. Here we ask them to stay.”
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