TCEA is blessed to have not one, but four administrative professionals to work with each day. There’s Katie, my executive assistant; Janny, our office assistant and receptionist; Erin, the assistant for member services; and Ashley, the assistant for professional development. These four amazing ladies are the real workers in our office, the ones who know where everything is, the ones who really understand all of the software we use, and the ones who support our members day in and day out. We would truly be lost without them.
Katie has what may be the hardest job in our office in that she has to ride herd on me. She manages my calendar and my schedule and helps me to remember all of the things that I routinely forget. She’s the one who gets text messages and phone calls from her boss at all hours of the day (and yes, I’m sorry to admit it, the night, too). She runs our robotics contests and our awards and scholarships programs, both of which have huge numbers of participants. She is also our membership software expert, which means that when the rest of us can’t make sense of the programs we use, she helps us, always very patiently. I often wonder what she must tell her husband about us each day when she goes home; I’m sure the stories about our incompetence make him laugh. But she never makes us feel stupid, even when we ask her the same question 100 times. She is always patient, and TCEA wouldn’t be what it has grown to be without her.
Janny works the reception desk of our building, which means that she is the first face visitors see. She is also the first person on the phone and chat lines, making her the voice of TCEA, too. And that is a blessing as she is the sweetest woman I have ever met. I have never seen anyone multi-task like she does. She can be entering purchase orders, responding to a member’s frantic phone call about a forgotten password, restocking drinks for a workshop or room rental happening in our conference center, and fixing the copy machine, all while smiling. She always has a pleasant greeting and a piece of candy for the UPS, FedEx, cleaners, lawn maintenance, and post office folks who drop by, and has never once been seen with a frown on her face. Some day, when I have enough karma points, I want to be Janny.
All of you know Erin, I’m sure. She’s the one who emails you with reminders about your membership renewal. Not only does she support Carrie, our director of member services; she answers to each of our 17,556 members. And that’s a lot of bosses to have! Erin is one of the newer members of the team, but has fit in with the rest of us crazies since day one. She spends a lot of time working in our membership database system, which can cause her to go a little bug-eyed at times. And she is our official “booth babe,” traveling across Texas to talk with members and non-members alike at area events and to preservice teachers at their student teacher orientations. Unlike the rest of the staff who are more specialized, Erin is expected to know everything about TCEA: all of our programs, our offerings, and our benefits. From member webinars to our advocacy program to the daily app list to what each SIG provides, she knows it and happily shares it with everyone she comes in contact with. She is the best advocate a member could have.
Our newest administrative professional, Ashley, supports the professional development team (Bruce, Diana, Peggy, and Miguel) and our advocate Jennifer. She is in charge of the TCEA certification programs, making sure all of the PD events are on the calendar and available for registration, mailing out completed and framed certificates, setting up for face-to-face workshops, and assisting the trainers to keep track of where they are supposed to be doing presentations when. She helps with the set up of all of our PD events, like the Tots conferences and System Admin, as well as the various academies. And she runs the convention volunteer program. She sometimes looks a little shell shocked as she has the most TCEA staffers to keep an eye on, but she manages all of them beautifully.
Peggy, one of our PD staff members, wrote a poem to all four of these amazing women:
A little poem for our four wonderful admins
With Katie, Janny, Erin, and Ashley, TCEA wins.
Answering the phones, tracking down answers, checking membership needs
Always going above and beyond when it comes to good deeds.
Ordering stuff, taking care of the mail, and entering info into the database
Staying on top of the things, just in case.
Helping in the conference center, answering the chat, and keeping up with Slack
We know you have our backs.
For the staff and directors on the board
Without them, we would be out of our gourd.
Not a day goes by
Which is not a lie.
Ashley, Erin, Janny, and Katie are on the job with a smile
And always going the extra mile.
So thank you for all that you four do
We appreciate you, this is SO true.
TCEA and I are blessed with such absolutely amazing staffers. I’m sure you have some great administrative professionals in your office as well. Celebrate all that they do today and every day!