525 East Genesee Street, Frankenmuth MI, 48734
Frankenmuth may be small –
but we never think small.
In fact, we’re known for many “big time” traditions.
Unique community events.
Caring & outgoing people.
Home and school partnerships.
(Just to name three…)
But the tradition I want to touch on today is Fmuth’s tradition of extending a warm to one and all.
And I’m happy to report that we’re doing our best to keep this tradition alive and well in our schools as well.
Here are two examples.
Perhaps you’ve noticed the construction occurring at the main entrance to our high school. (How could you not?!?)
With the new entrance at the high school scheduled for completion this fall, we’ll be able to welcome students, families, and visitors in our same friendly Eagle manner through our main doors in just a few months.
The construction taking place will also provide us with improved security, some energy savings, and easier access for people with a mobility disability.
I like these additional benefits!
But buildings and entrances aren’t the keys for ensuring warm welcomes, of course.
Warm and friendly welcomes don’t happen without warm and friendly people making them happen.
And I’d like to cast the spotlight on two of FSD’s best!
Many of you know Penny Malicoat, who has been the administrative assistant to the superintendent for about 15 years. Penny is retiring in a couple of months after 30 years of service to our district, first as a substitute in food services, next as a instructional parapro, and then later as the office secretary at List Elementary before taking on her duties in our main office.
Parents and community members who have interacted with Penny know how incredibly caring and personable she is – as she has been both the pleasant voice on the phone and the smiling helpful face in our main district office for many years – but few people outside of our school family realize how instrumental Penny has been in keeping district projects on track, publicizing the work of the Board, and supporting district leadership with her savvy tech skills.
People who know Penny know she is a gem.
“In my 23 year tenure at FSD, Penny and I always worked closely together,” said former superintendent Mary Anne Ackerman. “Penny was the office secretary at List when I was Principal. And when I moved into the superintendent’s role, Penny came right along with me.”
“Penny is calm, gracious, and compassionate,” Mary Anne continued. “She was an FSD parent, an active community member – and she had the ability to anticipate and help respond to needs like very few can.”
Although I have only known Penny for a brief time myself, I wholeheartedly agree with Mary Anne’s lofty assessment.
Penny is a special person, and with her retirement, she will be greatly missed.
But the warm and caring tradition in our main district office won’t go away.
I’m proud to announce that Wendy Yagiela, the office secretary at List Elementary has already started transitioning for a few hours every week into the position of our next administrative assistant to the superintendent.
Like Penny, Wendy values and appreciates Frankenmuth and the our district’s culture and expectations.
Wendy is also a longtime FSD parent – with a son currently a junior – and she has an enthusiastic servant’s heart.
Adele Martin, who retired as superintendent following Mary Anne Ackerman said this to say about Wendy.
“Somehow, someway, Wendy is able to bump projects up to the next level,” Adele noted. “She’s a hands-on doer, has excellent tech skills, and never stops sharing the good story of our district, students, and staff with others.”
Along with the kudos from Adele, I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Wendy to her new role in our main office.
I know Wendy will continue to serve our school family well.
Now… heads up!
I’ll have a three-question survey for you next Thursday.
Listening and learning from you will help us avoid the situation the man in this cartoon is facing.
Next week’s survey will help us glean some insight about several factors we should carry into the shaping of our new FSD Strategic Plan.
From conversations, forums, and yes, occasional surveys we will be able to make sure we are creating the best possible future plan for our district TOGETHER.
I’m grateful for your help.