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Difference Maker presented by Synchrony Financial: Shirley Krumlauf

Staff Report Published: May 11, 2017 12:00 AM

She is a nearly 30-year employee of the Minerva Local School District. She is the administrative assistant and secretary at Minerva Elementary and gets to see the good being done in her community on a daily basis.

NAME: Shirley Krumlauf

SCHOOL: Minerva Elementary

RESIDENCE: 10633 Lincoln St SE, East Canton, OH 44730

AGE: 63

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JOB TITLE: Administrative Assistant/School Secretary

HOW LONG AT DISTRICT: 29 years

FAMILY: Husband, Bruce; son, Kyle (wife, Clare; children, Evan and Henry); daughter, Courtney (husband, Matt; daughter, Olivia)

What is the most rewarding part of your position? All of the relationships I have established over the years. The people I work with day in and day out are like my second family. I am amazed at the amount of work our teachers do and the commitment they have towards their students. It has been interesting to watch the students grow up into adults and now have their own children attending our school.

What is the most challenging? Balancing tasks throughout the school day to make sure I have enough time to get everything done, on top of the many interruptions that are just part of the job of a very large, very busy, elementary building. There is not much quiet time in the office. Basically we see it all and hear it all.

If you weren't doing this, you'd be ...? I cannot imagine doing anything else. I was a secretary at a car dealership before I had my kids. I took 10 years off from working, until my daughter was in school full time. That is when the job at Mary Irene Day School became available, and I just knew that that is what I wanted to do.

Tell us something about the students you deal with most people don't know or appreciate. In the office, we mostly see the students who forget their lunch, their homework, or don't know what they are doing at the end of the school day so we help them by calling their parents to reassure them they will get fed, have their homework so they don't get in trouble, or have to worry about who will be picking them up after school. I love it when the little kindergarten or first-grade students come into the office to read to us. It is such a thrill for them that they can sound out the words and put them together to tell the story. They are so proud of that.

How do you unwind after a long day at work? Kick off my shoes, change into something more comfortable, sit in my rocker/recliner and read the paper (The Repository, actually!) and watch the news or HGTV! I look forward to the warm weather when I can sit on my front porch swing or read a book on the back patio with a nice cool beverage.

The students and coworkers would be surprised to know that you ...? I am working on my golf game (taking lessons from Rene Powell and in a women's golf league at Clearview Golf Course); also enjoy gardening, doing Sudoku puzzles (keeps my brain active) and going for rides in my husband's classic cars.

What is the one responsibility about your position you didn't know existed before taking it? That once those children walk through the doors of our building they become OUR responsibility. All of the staff are responsible for educating them and keeping them safe. I did not know other people's children would affect how I view the community. We see a lot of broken homes, loss of parents, children that don't have enough food to eat or clean clothes to wear. It just breaks your heart to know that so many families struggle with day-to-day living. Some days it is very difficult to take it all in. It makes a person grateful to be able to work in an environment where so many people do so much to help so many.


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