Archive for Thursday, October 13, 2005

With principal away, teacher fills void

Lansing Elementary undergoes shuffle

October 13, 2005

Mary Noyes wears two hats these days.

The Lansing Elementary School first-grade teacher was asked to fill in for Principal Tim Newton when he was called up for National Guard duty in New Orleans Sept. 2.

"I enjoy it," Noyes said, "but I'll be glad to get back to my class."

Noyes spends the morning with administrative duties, including writing reports, answering parents' questions and dealing with what she said was a small amount of discipline.

But, Noyes said, "I try to get out of the office as much as I can," so she visits classes every day.

At 11:30 a.m. she has charge of her first-grade class again, taking over from Loyal Torkelson, the substitute who teaches the class in the mornings.

Noyes said her class had adjusted well to the circumstances, and understood that Newton was helping in New Orleans.

"They're a marvelous class, a fantastic class," Noyes said. "They're doing well."

One day, Noyes said, she was making announcements over the school PA system and one of her students told her, "That sounded an awful lot like you."

As part of her duties Noyes also meets with teachers each Thursday and attends PTA, site council and steering committee meetings.

Noyes is the only teacher at the school with administrative certification. Before she came to Lansing Elementary 13 years ago, Noyes had served as a high school principal in Oklahoma City. She moved here with her husband when he was hired as human resources director for the Sisters of Charity retirement home in Leavenworth.

Noyes said the temporary position has helped her to "put names on the faces" of children in other classes, and to "make more contact with them, which is great."

Assistant superintendent Donna Hughes said administration was Noyes' strong suit. "She does it well, and she has the respect of the teachers," Hughes said.

"Her organization skills are exemplary," Hughes said.

Newton is expected to return Oct. 24 to the school.

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