Getting to Know the Office Staff

A Closer Look in the Hub of the School.

Mrs.Yates+and+Mrs.Bryant+at+work+in+the+main+office.

Alesis Ruley

Mrs.Yates and Mrs.Bryant at work in the main office.

Alesis Ruley, Staff Writer

You notice the office clerks. You see them when you walk in the building. You hear them on the phone talking to different employees around the building. How much do you actually know about them, though? Do you know about the responsibilities and the workload that is on their shoulders? 

“I think right now it is amazing what they are pulling off and how much the six of them will cover for each other,” principal Tim Isaacs said. “It’s formidable.” 

Now, we all know that COVID has made our lives more difficult in drastic ways. So it is no surprise that our office staff were struggling with the changes that were put upon them. 

Front office clerk Shelly Bryant had some things to say about how COVID has affected her job. She said that pre-COVID, they didn’t know how good they had it, and we all took things for granted.

“It would just seem like a normal day,” Bryant said. “Now that you’ve thrown that into the mix, it’s like ‘Oh my goodness’ some days.”

Something people might not actually know is that the office staff used to do all the contact tracing. Now we have only one person that does all the contact tracing, and that is their only job. 

“We do have a new person that works in the building and that is their job. Their only job is to do all the contact tracing,” Bryant said. “Before, that load had been put onto the attendance office. Not only were they fielding calls and taking notes that students are turning in from where they were absent, but they were also handling sign-ins and sign-outs. Then they also had the COVID protocols, all that to deal with as well.”

Bryant shared what’s inside of her world. She graduated from Central in 1992. She started in the school system by volunteering, then later working at Lakewood Elementary. She then moved on to work at West Hardin Middle School and started at Central Hardin. She is not only an employee here but also a mom. She likes her hours here at school so that she and her children all end their days at the same time. 

Her days here at Central are very busy, though. 

She starts the day with getting ready and doing the morning announcements, then taking in students that come in late. During the day, the office clerks do all sorts of things that keep them busy. If the teachers need something, front office staff field their calls. If a janitor is needed, they make the calls to get a janitor to any part of the building. They also complete write ups if someone gets in trouble.

“When the assistant principal catches you all vaping in the bathroom, they (the office staff) have to put it in the computer and they load all that stuff, and they do all the data entry,” Isaacs said.

Some people may think that interacting with the public is a hard job. Not for registrar Katy Gardner, who works in the counseling office.

“I don’t think it’s very difficult for my job,” Gardner said. “I enjoy people, so most often it’s not difficult.” 

Now this job comes with lots of rewards, but one reward really sticks out to Gardner.

“The people in the environment here at Central Hardin that I work with,” she said.

In fact, being a team is part of the job requirement.

Shelly Bryant, Main Office

Q: Where are you from? 

A: “I was born and raised here in Cecilia.”

Q: What high school did you graduate from? 

A: “Here.”

Q: Can you give me a run down from the beginning of your career leading up to now? 

A: Once the youngest started Kindergarten full time, then I started volunteering into the school system at their elementary school, which ended up leading into a position there. Then that transferred, and it was just part time, and transferred to the middle school for a full time position. And then it eventually led me here in a full time position.”

Q: Do you have a family? 

A: “I am married, we just celebrated our 25th anniversary. We have five children. Two sets of twins and the youngest set are juniors here now.”

Q: What do you like to do in your free time/what are your hobbies? 

A: “Our free time was always usually spent at a ballpark. Our kids were very athletic.”

Q: What are your plans for the future, career wise or personal life? 

A: “I’ll probably still continue to work here even after they’re graduated. You know whether or not I stay at this school or how that changes, I mean that’s just left up to me if a different position comes up or if I wanted to take a different place.”

Kim Booker, Attendance Office

Q: Where are you from?

A: “I have lived here all of my life.”

Q: What high school did you graduate from? 

A: “I actually graduated from Central Hardin.”

Q: Can you give me a run down from the beginning of your career leading up to now? 

A: “My whole career with Hardin County Schools, I actually started working in the kitchen as a substitute worker. Then I actually worked at Central Office before I came to Central Hardin.”

Q: Do you have a family?

A: “Yes I am married. I’ve been married for 20 years. We have two children. My daughter Morgan is 19, my son Connor is 16. He goes to school here. She graduated from here, my husband graduated from here.”

Q:  What do you like to do in your free time/what are your hobbies?

A: “I would say in free time we just do a lot of family things. We like to you know go out to eat as a family, hang out at the house. I don’t really have any hobbies honestly. We just do our own thing at home. I do like to travel, I do like to go to the beach and things like that.”

Q: What are your plans for the future, career wise or personal life? 

A: “For career wise, I would say I will be here at Central Hardin, in the office, until I retire.”

Beth Shoulders, Attendance Office 

Q: Where are you from?

A: “I’m from Kentucky.”

Q: What high school did you graduate from?

A: “I graduated from here in 96.’”

Q: Can you give me a run down from the beginning of your career leading up to now? 

A: “So when my kids were little I stayed home with them and then I volunteered at Creekside, and they were like ‘You’re here so much you should work here.’ So then I started subbing in the kitchen and then I worked down here in the kitchen for a few years and then I moved up here in 2018.”

Q: Do you have a family?

A: “I am married, I’ve been married for 23 years. I have three kids. Two of them are still here, Avery’s a senior and Addison’s a junior.“

Q: What do you like to do in your free time/what are your hobbies?

A: “I like to craft and make stuff.”

Q: What are your plans for the future, career wise or personal life? 

A: “I plan to stay here and like retire from Hardin County Schools.”

Dawn Yates, Main Office

Q: Where are you from?

A: “I grew up in Kentucky.”

Q: What high school did you graduate from?

A: Larue County High School.

Q: Can you give me a run down from the beginning of your career leading up to now? 

A: “So for seven years I did pre school at G.C. Burkhead, and then I switched to just a regular instructional assistant for 1st through 3rd grade and I did that for eight years. And then I started here.”

Q: Do you have a family?

A: “I am married. And I have two girls, 22 and 26. They are both graduates of Central Hardin. One has graduated from law school and is waiting to take the bar and the other one is a nurse at Baptist Health.”

Q: What do you like to do in your free time/what are your hobbies?

A: “In my free time I like to spend it with my family, and I like to read when I have time.”

Q: What are your plans for the future, career wise or personal life? 

A: “I would like to travel.”

Jami Larkin, Main Office

Q: Where are you from?

A: “I’m from here.”

Q: What high school did you graduate from?

A: “I’m a Central grad., I graduated in 93’”

Q: Can you give me a run down from the beginning of your career leading up to now? 

A: “I started in 2013 as the records clerk, which is back here in the guidance department. So they send and receive records to different schools. I then moved to the registrar position. So that position you enroll and enroll students as they move and come in. And then I moved in here so this had been my 3rd position since being at Central.”

Q: Do you have a family?

A: I am married. I have three boys. The older two are adults, they are 28 and 26, they graduated from Central. I have a son who’s a senior this year and I have a seven-year-old granddaughter.”

Q: What do you like to do in your free time/what are your hobbies?

A: “My hobbies, I read, binge watch bad reality on TV., and I like to spend time with my family. I’m a summer girl, so I love sitting outside in the sun and reading a book and going to the beach.”

Q: What are your plans for the future, career wise or personal life? 

A: “Well I plan to stay here as the office manager until I retire. I’m looking forward to a new building where I have an office with windows. And personal wise, I just enjoy being a grandmother and watching my children grow and get married and start families of their own.”

Ashley Perry, Counselors’ Office

Q: Where are you from?

A: “Elizabethtown, Kentucky born and raised.”

Q: What high school did you graduate from?

A: “Central Hardin.”

Q: Can you give me a run down from the beginning of your career leading up to now? 

A: “ So I started at G.C. Burkhead as a Kindergarten assistant. And from Kindergarten, I went to the pass program, was there in that for a while. And then I took a year off and then I was hired here, and I was actually in the guidance office with Mrs.Gardner. And then now I’m here.”

Q:  Do you have a family?

A: “I’m married, I have two kids. Zak he’s 18 and he just graduated from here last year. And then Brooklyn is 13 and she is an 8th grader at East Hardin.”

Q: What do you like to do in your free time/what are your hobbies?

A: “Just spend time with family, run around with the kids because they’re involved in a whole bunch of stuff. And we like to go camping, just anything, just as family.”

Q: What are your plans for the future, career wise or personal life? 

A: “Look we just got to make it through 2021. You know to be honest I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about it. I take it day by day. I was always taught you’re not promised tomorrow so just take it day by day.”

Katy Gardner, Counselors’ Office

Q: Where are you from?

A: “I grew up in Glendale.”

Q: What high school did you graduate from?

A: “I was the first graduating class hereat Central Hardin.”

Q: Can you give me a run down from the beginning of your career leading up to now? 

A: “I’ve only been here for four years. And I started here at the registrar’s desk in the guidance office. I’ve been in the same place.”

Q: Do you have a family?

A: “I’m married and I have two boys. I have a 20 year old, and I have a son that goes here to Central.”

Q:  What do you like to do in your free time/what are your hobbies?

A: “I hang out at home a lot just with my family and our dogs.”

Q:  What are your plans for the future, career wise or personal life? 

A: “Well I just started here so I’ll be here for a while. I plan to retire from here.”

Amy Wheeler, Main Office

Q: Where are you from?

A: “I’m from here.”

Q:  What high school did you graduate from?

A: “Here, 92.’”

Q: Can you give me a run down from the beginning of your career leading up to now? 

A: “I worked as an executive assistant for a printing company, then I was a stay at home Mom, and then I came here and was a clerk in the library and guidance and then I became the book keeper.”

Q:  Do you have a family?

A: “I’m married and I have two boys, they both graduated from here.”

Q: What do you like to do in your free time/what are your hobbies?

A: “I like to read and I scrapbook.”

Q: What are your plans for the future, career wise or personal life? 

A: “Career wise to continue to count money daily.”

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“[ I look for] a person who’s just willing to work.” Isaacs said. “You’ve gotta step up and be part of the team.”