Administrative office professionals are often the first faces that students, families and staff see when walking into school buildings. They also work behind the scenes in many Minnetonka Schools departments. They are essential to establishing a positive and welcoming school environment, facilitating efficient and effective connections between families, teachers and staff members, and supporting the work of Minnetonka Schools.
“[My head office assistant], Carol Johnson, has great initiative, and she is very dependable,” said Principal Cindy Andress of Minnewashta Elementary. Principal Andress works closely with a number of office assistants, and is incredibly grateful for the individual support each provides for her, the school, and Minnewashta families. “Each of them have their own unique job to do. They are the frontline for helping students and the frontline for anything teachers might need in the classroom.”
The role of administrative office professionals can change a lot from day to day, from school to school, and from department to department. While sometimes they may be busy gathering and sending out information to families, other days they might be in charge of welcoming new families or reserve teachers into the building and helping them feel comfortable. In general, their work is dedicated to supporting their building’s administration and staff and helping connect them with families and other schools.
The role of administrative office professionals has been especially critical over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when clear and efficient communication with families is more important than ever. Office professionals around the district have worked hard to make sure families’ needs are met through phone calls, emails and other methods of support. On top of that, they have also played an essential role in helping students, staff and teachers with the transitions between learning models that have taken place over the course of the year.
“Flexibility has been key this year,” explained Christine Best, Head Office Assistant at Scenic Heights Elementary. As many of us can relate to, each change in learning model felt like a new first day of school in the office. “All staff have been instrumental as we transition to different models. I am thankful to be on a team with all of the other fabulous office assistants in the Minnetonka School District.”
Without the dedication and enthusiasm of Minnetonka’s administrative office professionals, our schools would not feel like the same place. Their commitment to supporting teachers and families makes a difference every day.
“[Office professionals serve as a] liaison between the district and the school for staff and families,” explained Ms. Best. “Most of the front office assistants are the first points of contact that families, providers, community members, and other district staff have with the school. We are like the 411 of Minnetonka.”
In honor of Administrative Office Professionals Appreciation Week, make sure to thank the office professionals in your building for all their dedication to supporting Minnetonka’s students and families!