TROY — A lot of exciting changes have swept through the Troy City School district over the last 30 years, and few have witnessed it all like administrative assistant Susan Morrett, who is set to retire at the end of the 2017-18 school year after an illustrious career with the district.
Born and raised in the Troy area, Morrett began as a substitute for faculty members in the 1980s.
“I started out subbing for secretaries at the schools,” Morrett said. “I did that for two years, and was at the junior high almost a full year. Then, I was hired at the high school, where I started at the front office and went to the attendance office.”
Morrett began at Troy High School in the autumn of the 1988-89 school year, and stayed on as secretary there for 18 years until a new position became available when Forest Elementary re-opened in 2006, where she has served as administrative assistant ever since. During these years, Morrett and her husband, Bruce, raised two children of their own, who also attended the Troy City School district.
Morrett described her job as “steady” and explained how all administrative assistants now largely serve as the frontline for any school’s communication.
“We’re largely tied to the desk, due to the bells at the doors, which have changed over the years,” Morrett said. “I take care of phone calls and attendance on the kids. If we haven’t gotten a phone call from a parent, I’ll call that house to find out why the student is absent from school. I’ll take messages for kids from their parents, and then deliver to them to classrooms.
“Technology over the years has gotten better and better,” Morrett exclaimed, insisting that the changes have made the job easier overall, “as long as the computers work for you. Everything is filed by computer now. At the high school when I started, almost everything was done by hand, so it’s a lot different.”
In regard to the most rewarding aspect of her position, Morrett insisted it was “being around the kids. You hope that you can make a difference in some of their lives, whether it’s talking to them or giving them an extra hug that day. When I was at the high school, I said that I had adopted kids every year. They’d come and sit in the office to talk to me on their lunch, and I still have those kids that stay in touch with me. That’s really rewarding.”
Morrett has no major plans following her retirement, except the pursuit of spending more time with her two children and six grandchildren.
“It’s a little scary when you’ve been in a routine for 30 years,” Morrett said. “I like to paint antique furniture. I have three grandchildren that play volleyball in college, so we’ve made a lot of trips to watch volleyball, and we’ve got more trips coming.”
For up-and-comers into the administrative assistant field, Morrett claimed that any words of wisdom her experience provided would only be positive.
“I’d just tell them they’re going to love their job,” Morrett said. “The hardest part about retiring is that I love my job. A lot of people may not realize when you come into a school like this, it’s a family. The staff has helped me get through my grandson having leukemia. I don’t know what I would have done without their support, so they get you through the hard times as well as the good times. It’s been a great 30 years.”