As secretary to the principal at Eden Valley Elementary School, Marion Frank has had contact with every student there, in some way or another, every school year.
In her 31 years in the district, that’s nearly 2,000 students – more than the combined populations of Eden Valley and Watkins.
Her official duties include being the principal’s secretary, and she also is responsible for all state data reporting for each student in the district, preschool through sixth grade.
Besides that, Frank also acts as nurse when the school nurse is elsewhere. I take care of [the students]. Take temps, give meds, sometimes a hug,” Frank said.
Lori Unterberger has begun training for Frank’s positions. But it will take her a while to fill her shoes. Unterberger has worked at the Elementary School for several years, in the copy room and as a special ed assistant.
“She’s going to do a great job,
I know,” Frank said of Unterberger.
Frank will miss her interaction with parents, many of whom were students themselves a generation ago. She will still see them, at concerts and other events, but it won’t be the same.
Although she has no specific plans for retirement, Frank looks forward to traveling with her husband Elmer and spending time with her five grandchildren and tending her flower gardens.
“I really think the best part of the whole thing, when I think about it, is the flexibility of my time,” said Frank. “I’ll be able to do things during the daytime, which I sometimes have to do at night time, so I’ll have free evenings.
I think that’s the part I’ll enjoy the most, especially at Christmas time when things get busy, like baking Christmas cookies.”
Elementary principal Rob Pederson said it will be “definitely different” without Frank.
Pederson has been principal here seven years, and was a teacher here seven years before that. Frank has been an important part of his entire career at Eden Valley-
“She’s earned this, you know,” Pederson said. “As much as we want her to stay, she deserves to enjoy her retirement, be with her grandkids, and Elmer, and her two kids.”
According to Pederson, Frank is not only a wonderful secretary but an even better person.
“It is completely genuine,” he said. He added that she’s the only employee about whom not a single bad word has ever been said.
“We have some wonderful people here, but … she’s the best.”
Friday, June 14, is Frank’s last work day, and the last day the
Elementary School office is open until August.
Mrs. Frank’s gentle words, comforting manner, BandAids, hugs, and legendary baked goods all will be missed.
But she’s not far away.