By J1 Reporter Lily Dugan
A community is not built by its square footage, but by its people who fill the space. A new addition to the square footage in the community of Marian is Mrs. Donna Smith, the new administrative assistant in Student Services. Mrs. Smith is part of many students’ school experiences and communities. Though her official time at Marian has been short, Mrs. Smith has gotten a strong feel for our Crusader community.
Starting off at Saint Patrick’s Elementary school in Elkhorn, she worked helping teachers with anything they needed. Her biggest task she helped with was teaching the students how to read. Her joy of being in a school and seeing children develop began with seeing the small achievements the young students made with reading and their joy on their faces.
A new stage in her career began when the principal at St. Patrick’s in Elkhorn moved to Holy Cross and she moved, too. It was not only a change of a school, but a change of scenery, moving from 205th and Maple to 48th and Woolworth, from an Angel to a Falcon.
With the move arrived a whole new look on school life. At Holy Cross, Mrs. Smith quickly adapted to the fast-paced life of being an administrative assistant at an elementary school. The view changed from reading books to answering the phones and quickly coining her catchphrase, “Holy Cross School, this is Donna speaking.”
The hustle and bustle of Holy Cross kept her very busy, sometimes feeling she was wearing a hundred different hats, from Dean of Students to nurse to even being a mom to 400 kids ranging from 5 to 14. The highlight of her time at Holy Cross was being able to see the kids grow up and with each other. Her job as the person to be the counselor, nurse, information officer, and more, she was able to see the students grow into themselves, learning right from wrong as well as their multiplication tables. Her time spent at Holy Cross was long and cherished, having seen many faces pass by, but she felt her time had ended and made the move to Creighton Prep.
She had a short amount of time spent being a Junior Jay, but still enjoyed the new atmosphere of all boys. Her participation in the all school Mass for new employees was a highlight of her time. The slowdown of the day was a new feel for Mrs. Smith, but having been kept on her feet always doing something or talking with someone, the slowdown was not the move for her. Mrs. Smith made her latest move to Marian in February.
Though she had only been in the building for a full week before the corona cancellation began, she has definitely been immersed in the Marian community. Marian has held a special spot in her heart with her daughter Megan, who graduated in 2015. She was a “Marian Mom” for Megan’s four years at Marian. It was fun for the both of them to be back in the building and see all the new changes. Mrs. Smith said she has enjoyed the conversations with the new faces in the building and is grateful for the welcoming environment.
Out of all the schools she has worked at they share one thing in common, religion. Her emphasis of faith comes in the form of the “love promise of our Faith that we share of helping others.”
The hat of an administrative assistant is not the only hat she wears. Outside of school, her time is enjoyed with traveling and finding local authors in bookstores while also fishing. Her talents do not cease with administration having worked in the airline industry she can, “can make your reservation, print your ticket, load your bag, balance the aircraft for flight and park your plane at the gate.”
REPORTER NOTE: Crazy enough, Mrs. Smith has moved to four different schools in her time, but out of those four schools, she has been at the only two schools I have been to. I’m not the only one who has had this happen to them, but knowing Mrs. Smith is back in the same building as me, is a great feeling. From Angel to Falcon to Blue Jay to Crusader, Mrs. Smith has always had a positive impact on the Catholic school life.