By Trinity Bentley
WCHS secretaries benefit the school by making sure everything in the school is running properly and on track. The secretaries have to go through specific training courses to learn how to do the job properly. Most people don’t realize that the secretary’s job is more difficult than it seems.
WCHS secretary Gaynell Waggoner spoke about why she chose to be a secretary.
“I thought that it would be a good way to have a job but still have time off with my children and be available when needed. I was right and I got a bonus; not only have I been available for my family, but I have a job that I enjoy and a wonderful work family,” Waggoner said.
Waggoner also talked about life before she started working at WCHS and talked about how long she has been a secretary.
“When we lived in Texas, I worked as a secretary in the purchasing department of a school district. When our youngest son was in elementary school, I transferred to his school, where I was an instructional assistant and a summer school secretary,” Waggoner said. “When we moved up here, I got an IA position at Whiteland Elementary. In fact, I took over for Mrs. Trivett, who had moved over to WCHS to be a secretary. Not long after, another secretary job became open here and I was fortunate enough to get hired. That was about seventeen years ago; my how the time has flown.”
Waggoner talked about how she greets parents and answers the phone, but every day is different for her.
“Being a school secretary is a busy job that is both the same and different every day. Every day we answer the phone and the door, we greet parents, visitors and students and help them in whatever way we can. If teachers have a question or a problem, we try to help and every day we have our own responsibilities/tasks to take care of.” Waggoner said, “So, every day, we do basically the same thing. What makes every day different is that we interact with different people and different situations. It makes for a very interesting 40 hours a week, and I enjoy it very much.”
Waggoner discussed what training she had to go through to become a secretary.
“Working as a school secretary, for me, has been a learn-as-you-go process. I have attended training sessions on different parts of the job, which has helped a lot but mostly like I said, I have learned through doing,” Waggoner said.
WCHS Treasurer Jayne Trivett talked about what it is like to oversee the secretaries and being friends with them.
“I work with the best bunch of ladies. Each one is hard working, kind and a good friend,” Trivett said.
Trivett spoke about how she helped with the interview and how she got to ask the questions she wanted.
“When we hired Ms. Brock, I was on the interview committee. I had my own set of questions that were important to me that I had the chance to ask,” Trivett said.
Principal Tom Zobel spoke about what steps he takes to hire a new secretary.
“If we have an opening, it is obviously posted on multiple job sites and out in the community and then we, typically, after we gather the applications and sort through it, we identify candidates.” Zobel said, “We’ll have a preliminary round of interviews to kinda screen who the best candidates are and then we will bring them back for a second interview, and in that second interview, we will include other secretaries because they will work obviously really closely together, so we got to make sure that the personalities match and that they all get along.”
Zobel doesn’t only oversee the secretaries, but he has a close working relationship with them.
“It’s just another part of the job being in administration and there are other employees that we have to monitor and supervise. I think the biggest difference, probably with secretaries is that we work a lot closer with them on a daily basis than what we do some other people and so there is more of that established relationship with them,” Zobel said.
Zobel expressed how the secretaries benefit the school and how they work to keep the school on track.
“More than what most people would probably realize. In a lot of ways they’re the ones that make sure the school goes and works. From the attendance, to daily comings and goings of people, to paperwork procedural stuff. They’re the ones behind the scenes that are making sure that we are getting where we are supposed to be going, that we are in the right places, getting information out. They do a lot to help the school run.”
Secretaries do a lot for their schools and WCHS’s secretaries are no different. WCHS couldn’t function without the office secretaries.