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2020/2021 Support Staff Member of the Year:   Lisa Garrett
2020/2021 Support Staff Member of the Year: Lisa Garrett
Matt Robertson
Friday, April 02, 2021

We started last year to try to recognize more individuals from the Wyandotte Public Schools staff in our “of the year” process.  We added a “Support Staff Member of the Year’ because we thought it was long overdue that we recognize some of the people who really make the school run.  This list includes all of those who are not certified teachers but are nonetheless vital to the success of the entire organization. 

There were a lot of nominations for this award.  They were each heartfelt, well worded, and meaningful nominations for everything from teachers aids to secretarial staff to maintenance and janitorial staff.  As a committee, we discussed each of them and asked ourselves “what made this year different?” and “how did these individuals set themselves apart as contributors?”  

This year we faced challenges that have never been faced before.  We were up against circumstances that there was no playbook for.  We vote anonymously as a committee, and it came down to an even tie in the voting.  We were fully supportive of both of these individuals receiving the award, especially in light of what we have just gone through.  Can any of you in this community imagine weathering this storm without Lisa Garrett and Heather Brown manning their stations as secretaries of the elementary and middle school/high school?  

We would like to add this information to separate posts to celebrate each of them individually, even if we are celebrating them as Co-Support Staff Members of the Year. 

Lisa Garrett has been the kind of employee that every organization has to have to be successful.  She is a self-starter that is going to go above and beyond to do every task given to her.  She does way more than her job description will ever indicate.  She is here earlier and stays later than just about anyone in the district.  She has to be told to go home.  Lisa has done every job given to her with the fullest of effort since her hiring in August of the 2012/2013 school year.  She has worked in the special education department, worked as an aid on school busses, and eventually found herself in the front office of the middle school/high school as the secretary.  We can tell you honestly that the job she has is a daunting task.  There is no position in this district that requires more and with which you are spread more thin.  She is the face and voice of the district for anyone with a middle school/high school student.  Like Heather Brown in the elementary, She plays the role of mom, nurse, organizer-in-chief, and a million other hats.  Read some of the things Lisa’s co-workers had to say about her in their many nominations:

  • Lisa is an indispensable member of our staff any year, but this year especially, we in the middle and high school could have not made it without her. She has worked so hard to make sure teachers and staff are informed of changes in schedules, she always makes sure to have classes covered when someone is gone, and not to mention, she is our first line of defense when it comes to handling an angry parent or patron. There are so many other vital jobs she performs that we know nothing about. In fact, she probably does the job of 3 or 4 people! She also keeps Mr. Robertson and Mr. Buckingham in line, which is a full time job in itself! :D  ----I'm so glad that she is here at Wyandotte!

  • Mrs. Lisa is everyone's go to person, when she is not here the days do not go as smoothly. She works so very hard and deserves all of the recognition. 

  • Lisa is always helpful and kind to all.

  • Lisa is ALWAYS willing to help in any way needed.  She is very efficient, knowledgeable, and a valued asset to the school.  She is the face that people see when they enter the building,  and a great representative of our school.  She does not participate in drama, but has a quiet, steady, kind presence that is a stabilizing factor for students and staff alike.  She is responsible, present, and does her job to the best of her ability.  

  • She has the fullest plate in the building.

  • Mrs. Garrett is our front-line!  She takes care of student concerns, parent concerns, and staff concerns with grace and a smile.  Her desk was a difficult place to be this year with all of the extra requirements and regulations, but she made it look easy.

  • Lisa is on top of it... all the time. She is a friendly face and her presence is felt throughout the school every single day. She is consistent with her professionalism and she really cares about our students.  

  • As a first year teacher, I have leaned on Lisa for many many answers. I've probably communicated with her more than any other support staff. She's always so happy to help. The number one thing I find is an issue with being a first year teacher is simply belonging. Lisa ensured that I had a place here at school and never had to question whether I belonged or not.

Lisa’s building level principals, Steve Buckingham and Matt Robertson, had this to say about her: 

“We have on occasion experienced what it is like to try to do this job without Lisa or with any version of a replacement for her.  It’s a daunting task for anyone to do and yet Lisa makes the job look easy.  At any moment, she’s capable of listening to what is being said on a phone call, getting a mask for one student, jotting down information from another student, doing what either of us has asked, and letting someone in the new security front door.  There isn’t a better multi-tasker around.  She’s thorough in keeping records updated, attendance managed as registrar, and keeping us in the loop when it comes to vital information.  She holds this office together, and keeping the two of us organized is a full time job!”

Help us thank Lisa Garrett for the job she has done, especially this year, and to congratulate her on a well-deserved award!