EHS Wonder Woman retires

Eureka High School’s wonder woman is retiring this year.

Under the words Eureka High School sits a woman who can do the impossible, the voice of Eureka, Mrs. Shirley Bryan, school receptionist.

The end of any school year is bittersweet for teachers.  Teachers are just as giddy as the students to wrap up the term and head into summer. But summer also brings with it good-byes, some more permanent than others as faculty retire to start new chapters in their lives. This year even more so because Mrs. Bryan is retiring as 24 years of service to the school.

“Mrs. Bryan is really fun to be around,” Mrs. Cindy Hirsh, attendance secretary said. “I have known her for 14 years.  On one hand, I know I am going to miss here dearly, but on the other hand, I am extremely happy for her. I know that when I’m 65, I’m getting my but out of the work force.”

Mrs. Bryan’s job includes greeting people, directing them where they need to go and taking care of the items parents bring in, but she often times does more than that out of kindness from her heart.

On top of taking care of Welcome Center duties, Mrs. Bryan also serves as unofficial part-time secretary for the Journalism Department, selling and distributing yearbooks, fielding calls and serving as equipment drop-off and pick-up.

“I am scared to death,” Mrs. Elisha Strecker, Journalism teacher, said. “She takes care of so much; I doubt that I know even half of it. I don’t know what I am going to do when she leaves.”

Teachers across the campus are sad to see her go and hope that the next secretary will also go above and beyond. A standard with which Mrs. Bryan has spoiled them.

“Her shoes will be hard to fill,” Mrs. Madeline Kennedy, Social Studies teacher said. “The person they hire will do a good job, but we will all miss her.”

Mrs. Bryan has worked in other places, but this is her first and only job at a school. She decided to work here, much to the contentment of the staff members here at EHS.

“I used to work for the government in downtown St. Louis, and many other places before that for about 13 to 14 years,” Mrs. Bryan said. “Then I wanted to be closer to home, so I decided to work for the school in the same town that we live in. And here I am, 24 years later.”

According to Mrs. Hirsh, not many students know who she is, but every teacher and parent relies on Mrs. Bryan to transport materials and direct people to the correct locations.

Staff members really think highly of her.

“Most staff thinks of her as the voice of Eureka,” Mrs. Kennedy said. “She is the type of person who would give the shirt off her back to someone who needed it.”

While students oftentimes don’t know who she is, nearly all students have relied upon her at one time or another, regardless if they realize it or not.

“I really didn’t know who she is or what she does,” Michael Patton (9) said. “I mean, I know that she was important. I just didn’t know how much so until today. I really think that she does a lot now. I would think that she would be missed.”

Mrs. Bryan is a guiding hand. She sends birthday cards to teachers, takes care of everybody that comes in, nearly everybody that calls, takes care of things that other teachers don’t get around to, gives a good first impression of the school, the list goes on and on.

“Many students do go to her,” Nicole Paczkowski (9) said. “She helps us when we forget something at home or come in late or need to leave early.”

Those students she has helped remember Mrs. Bryan has saved their day.

“Once when I was sick,” Sarah Peters (9) said. “She was there and made sure that everything was taken care of so I could leave school.”

Local wonder woman is retiring, much to the discontent of the local staff, as well as to students.

“I know I will miss her,” Mrs. Hirsh said. “I would think that everybody does, since in one form or another, we are all dependent on her.”

June 1 is her last day here at EHS, and the coming freshman will know not of the kindness that is called Mrs. Bryan, school receptionist.