5 Questions for- Judy McSwain

Isabelle Fisher, Staff Writer

1. Please describe your time as Sevier’s secretary. What was it like?
My time at John Sevier was a whirlwind, to say the least. The year passed very quickly. Each day was filled with new challenges and rewards; no two days were alike. It was a joy getting to know John Sevier on a completely different level. Working with students, getting to know parents, working collectively with teachers and administrators, substitute teachers, all very rewarding. I certainly was made to feel a part of Sevier’s tribe.

2. Why did you have to leave?
I started working as a substitute teacher when my youngest child started school, which allowed me to be on her schedule. Working as an interim secretary also allowed me to continue to be on her schedule. Understandably so, the secretary’s job is a year-long job and unfortunately that would not work for me, with my desire to stay on what would be the students’ schedule.

3. What was the craziest/strangest/most interesting thing that happened during your time as Sevier’s secretary? Please describe.
One of the most memorable times was when Dr. Ailshie walked in with two dozen doughnuts. The week prior to that, I really teased him as he came for a visit. I said, “no doughnuts?”. I didn’t stop there; I told him how I loved chocolate covered, custard filled. Vicky chimed in and said she liked the chocolate covered, crème filled. A week later, here he comes walking in with 2 dozen doughnuts, saying the top box was ours. He had brought our favorites. I had my picture made with him in the lobby holding the doughnuts, gave him a hug, thanking him, and then he turned to leave. I said “where are you going, you just got here”. He replied that he just came to deliver doughnuts.

4. What was your favorite part of the job? What was your least favorite part of the job?
Well, I honestly enjoyed it all. Each day was a different day, each day was a new day…….just like we are all offered every day. Dr. Flora always quotes in the morning announcements “choose to make it a great day”. Things don’t always go perfectly, but if we choose to make it a great day, odds are, it won’t be as bad as we thought.

Each student at Sevier has a talent, gift or skill to offer. I found it amazing, the students that would do the morning announcements were well composed and spoke with such clarity. Speaking over the intercom can be very intimidating and they did it with such confidence. The office workers […] did it with heart and didn’t complain. I loved greeting all the SLEEPY students arriving in the mornings and telling them to prop the door open. I was always told “good morning” by someone. Students greeting me in the halls, office, cafeteria, or even at Food City after school always brightened my day.

5. Is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you to all the students, parents, teachers, administrators, substitutes and support staff for allowing me to serve as the interim secretary for the past year.

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