2017-05-19 / Life

High school secretary retires after 30 years in the district

BY DEREK MOY
DISPATCH RECORD


After being a secretary in the Lampasas Independent School District for 30 years, Linda Null will retire June 30. She has worked under 11 principals and has enjoyed the career path she chose. 
DEREK MOY | DISPATCH RECORD After being a secretary in the Lampasas Independent School District for 30 years, Linda Null will retire June 30. She has worked under 11 principals and has enjoyed the career path she chose. DEREK MOY | DISPATCH RECORD Lampasas High School principal’s secretary Linda Null is retiring June 30, which will mark a big change in the school’s personnel.

Mrs. Null has been at the high school for 17 years, but she has spent 30 years in various secretary roles throughout the district.

“Honestly, it was something that I felt I could do and be a good mom with it,” she said. “I didn’t have to be gone or drive out of town, stuff like that.”

Her first stint as a secretary was in 1974 through 1979, when she worked for the vocational administrator. After her time there, Mrs. Null was a secretary in the district administration office until 1981.

She had a brief hiatus and returned in 1985 as a high school secretary until 1990.

After raising her children, Mrs. Null went back to the high school in 2000 as a secretary where she stayed until announcing her retirement recently.

Her position to the principal is vital; it’s not just answering phones. She does scheduling, helps new teachers understand the school system, schedules teacher conferences and their required bookings, goes over budget items with the principal, as well as a host of other things.

“I do feel like a caretaker,” Mrs. Null said. “That’s kind of who I am, and I try to help, not only the principal but the teachers, parents, the kiddos … There’s just massive numbers of people you have to work with.

“I always tend to want to take care of people, and I think that’s maybe one reason I’ve lasted at this job, because if you didn’t want to do that you wouldn’t last long,” she said. One of her most important and challenging duties is managing the high school’s calendar with the staff.

“A huge part of my job is coordinating all the activities and calendars,” Mrs. Null said. “That’s a big part for Mark [Kehoe], because he’s got to be at nearly every function.”

Mrs. Null’s office is full of graduation invites and senior photos of past and present students who keep in touch. She said she will miss getting to know the office aides and other students after her retirement.

“I’ll miss the people, even though I plan on subbing. I am going to need to continue to work,” Mrs. Null said. “I’ll miss seeing all the people I see every day, like the office staff.”

One thing she will not miss, the secretary said, is the turnover among personnel.

“I won’t miss the big turnover in staff because when you have high turnover rate, it just makes the job a lot more difficult because you’re constantly training people,” Mrs. Null said. “That takes a lot of time.

“[A teacher’s] first year, they don’t have a clue what’s going on, usually,” she said. “They’re just trying to survive in the classroom. Then as it goes along, you just spoon-feed them, and after two or three years you’re hoping they’re on their own.”

Mrs. Null worked at the high school when it moved to its present location, and that is one of her fondest memories – walking through the doors and seeing she would get her own office, among other amenities.

“When we moved to the new high school, that was overwhelming, but it was such a neat thing,” she said. “We were so proud to get the new high school after working in that 50-year-old building. Getting to come to a brand-new building, and I had my own office!”

Mrs. Null is a second-generation secretary, as her mother also was a secretary, and her daughter does much the same role as a court coordinator in Burnet County.

She has worked under 11 principals (10 different individuals, as Dick Parker was interim principal twice). Her favorite principal to work for, Mrs. Null said, would be her current boss.

“He brought so much continuity to our campus,” she said of Kehoe. “He’s just a great leader. He lets you do your job, and as long as you’re doing your job everything’s good.”

Mrs. Null plans to be a substitute teacher and stay in Lampasas in her retirement.

She has three adult children: Stephanie McCormick, Keith Null and Whitney Wright. She and her husband Kenny have been married for 45 years.

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