Wednesday, August 31, 2011/lk
DALLAS -- When it comes to keeping the bustling Dallas schools in order, there are six under-the-radar employees who, in large part, keep chaos at bay.
Their official title is "office manager," but their reach goes far beyond the front office.
This year, Dallas High School, LaCreole Middle School, and Whitworth and Lyle elementary schools will have new office managers at the helm.
Among their many duties are making sure school offices are functioning efficiently and students and parents with questions or problems are helped. They also assure classrooms are ready and teachers have everything they need to teach.
"We kind of run the school," said Amy Stewart, Dallas High's new office manager, with a smile. "We are always making sure the school is running smoothly."
Stewart has worked in the district for 10 years and may be familiar to anyone who has spent time at LaCreole. She was office manager there until moving to DHS this summer.
Stewart's replacement, Alice Struckmeier, is new to the district. She worked previously at North Medford High School.
Struckmeier has passed the first test of the summer -- registration, which she said was surprisingly smooth.
She is hoping the return of teachers this week follows suit.
"I'm looking forward to meeting everyone," Struckmeier said.
Also new to the district this year is Darcy Naughton, Lyle Elementary School's new office manager.
Naughton has volunteered with the district in a number of capacities over the years and is excited about continuing to work in the schools in her new position.
"I'm looking forward to getting to know teachers, students and families and helping the school run smoothly," Naughton said.
Schools have been preparing for return of teachers this week. After additional budget cuts, they are facing what could be a difficult year.
"It's going to be challenging," said Whitworth's new office manager, Julie Church, "but it's going to be fun, too."
Church has worked at Whitworth since 2000 and in the office since 2006.
She said Whitworth, as with other schools in the district, will be shorthanded, but the teachers and staff are making the best of it.
"My job is to make that transition positive and try
to make sure everybody has what they need," she said.