On a recent afternoon at Arlington Heights School District 25 headquarters, administrative assistant Debbie Williams remained calm in spite of a power outage, a visit from a news reporter and a looming deadline to finish the school board meeting agenda.
Pioneer Press caught up with Williams, who will be retiring next month after working as the administrative assistant to District 25 Superintendent Lori Bein. She shared a few memories from her decade of service to an organization that, she said, is best described as “caring.”
Q: What led you to work at District 25?
A: I had worked with Dr. (Sarah) Jerome when she was a superintendent at Kettle Moraine School District in Wisconsin, and after she became superintendent in District 25, she let me know there was a job opening.
Q: Did you grow up in Wisconsin?
A: No, I’m from Cheney, Kansas, a small, rural town. I grew up on a wheat farm with my three brothers. I went to the local community college and majored in what was then called secretarial science.
Q: How has District 25 changed over the past decade?
A: Well, when I first started, the school board had just approved installing air conditioning at all of the schools, which was a big thing at the time. Of course, curriculum always changes. But what continues and carries on in District 25 is the caring and connecting of our teachers with the community. Our teachers are so creative, and they’re always working for the betterment of their students. I’ve also seen the STEM labs come into our schools. The district has always been on the forefront of change, but they have been thoughtful about how they make those changes.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: I have a lot of favorite parts of this job, and it changes. But I would say it has to have been the fact that I get to connect with administrators, the staff and the community. I’ve also really enjoyed our annual “Get Ready for School”…