Giving thanks to 2 Woodland Elementary School staff members

Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, we are shining a light on some jobs in schools that don’t always get the credit they deserve.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 9:09 PM EST
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KINGSFORD, Mich. (WLUC) - Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, we are shining a light on some jobs in schools that don’t always get the credit they deserve.

Kimberly Rowell joined Kingsford’s Woodland Elementary School as a secretary in 2002. She says it’s her dream job.

“I’ve always wanted to be a secretary and I like to be in charge, so that gives me a feeling that I can run the school,” said Rowell. “I’ve always enjoyed secretarial work and I always wanted to work at a school, so I finally got my dream to do that.”

RELATED: Highlighting K.I. Sawyer Elementary School staff ahead of Thanksgiving

Rowell spends her days answering calls from parents, checking in visitors to Woodland and helping to organize the school’s calendar. She says her job is intense and she likes it that way.

“You’re busy all the time, you’re never bored because there’s no downtime,” said Rowell. “I like to be busy, and know everything that’s going on in the building.”

Rowell says she enjoys working at the elementary because she gets to see students grow and change.

“I like the kids. I like this age level, and it’s nice to be a part of their lives,” said Rowell. “You’re seeing them grow. You see them grow from kindergarten to fourth grade and you see the changes in them.”

Another longtime Woodland staff member is Jeff Paupore. He’s worked as a custodian all over the Breitung Township School District for almost 27 years. He says he’s built a relationship with students at Woodland Elementary.

“I love to have fun with the kids, I love to joke around with them,” said Paupore. “I bet you there’s not one of them that will tell you that I call them by their real name because I don’t. They think it’s funny [asking] ‘what’s my name, what’s my name?’ So, I call them different names all the time. Even when I see them in the stores and stuff, it’s the same way.”

Paupore also coaches for Woodland and Kingsford Middle School sports. He says he wants the kids he coaches to stay engaged.

“I make it enjoyable,” said Paupore. “I want to keep the kids interested in being part of something, making everyone feel like they’re part of the team. Whether they play all the time or a little bit, I want it to be rewarding so that next year, they’ll come back.”

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, it’s a time to be thankful for all school staff who work to give kids the best education possible.