Student Focused Office Managers Create a Welcoming Environment for All

Office Managers Image

Office managers play a vital role in a school’s daily success. The work they do varies day-to-day and looks different from school-to-school. Because an office manager’s job is so diverse, it’s often misunderstood or regarded simply as clerical. In reality, the work office operations professionals do is incredibly important to the health and culture of a school: they build relationships, lead projects, encourage students and teachers, and balance the excitement of a future vision of the school—all while keeping the lights on.

“Office managers always have a smile on their face and are willing to switch topics at the drop of a hat. They are the central part of the school community and keep everyone going and answer everyone’s questions,” Amey Dryer, Operations Coordinator for Choice Schools Associates, said. Dryer ensures that processes and procedures are running smoothly and that data is accurately submitted in a timely manner. 

“When a student comes to school and has forgotten something at home, they are sent to the office and the office staff are the ones to console them and help them find a solution,” Dryer commented.

At Choice, our schools are all unique and vary in size, culture and need. The number of office support staff and titles vary as well. There are Office Managers, Bookkeepers, Administrative Assistants, Pupil Accountants, Business Managers and Secretaries. 

Responsibilities vary. Listed below are some of the different roles and responsibilities they have:

  • Run the front office (serving as the first face/voice for parents, students and staff
  • Run the enrollment process
  • Run the state and authorizer reporting & compliance
  • Help with marketing and social media
  • Coordinate with the tech department  
  • Run the student information system
  • Maintain safety drill logs/procedures,
  • Arrange for substitutes 
  • Assist with purchasing, invoices and payroll 
  • First support for school leadership

But, when talking with the office managers, they agree that the most rewarding part of the position rarely has anything to do with the daily tasks. They are part of the school community because they believe in putting students first. 

They are living out Choice’s student-focused core value every day.

Adrianne Schmitt

“The most rewarding part of my position is seeing the transformation in kids. Often times when a student comes to me it is because of an issue. I get to help problem-solve that issue and find a resolution. Sometimes it is just letting them sit and talk it out. Other times, they are so tired, that they just need to put their head down for a bit to regain energy to endure the rest of the day,” Adrianne Schmitt, Office Manager at Muskegon Montessori Academy of Environmental Change, commented.

Carrie Simpson

“From the moment I get out of the car, I have either a parent, student, teacher or other staff member asking me something. It actually makes me smile because I like to help people and make sure they are all set for the day,” Carrie Simpson, pupils accountant at Creative Montessori Academy, commented. 

“I also like talking about the Montessori experience to prospective parents and getting them excited about the opportunity to be part of our school community!” Simpson said.

Cindi Hartmann

“I love learning about the students and their families’ stories – especially what drives them to want to be part of the Livingston Classical Academy family,” Cindi Hartmann, Office Manager at Livingston Classical Academy, said.   

“I like to be part of the passion a classical education brings and what families it brings together from down the street to many miles away. These families are teaching me about the positive impact of classical education and I love it!” Hartmann commented.

Amanda Kinnucan

“The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I am making a difference in ensuring that the school has all the supplies and resources it needs to help our students on a daily basis,” Amanda Kinnucan, Office Manager at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science, said. 

“But, there is one student in particular that comes to mind who started at WMAES during the middle of the year. He was nervous and in the office having a conversation with me. After that, he started visiting me at lunch quite frequently, just to check in and tell me how his day was going. Years later, he still stops in to tell me about his day, to talk about his family, and to fill me in on the latest video games that he is playing 🙂 It’s so nice to know that I was a part of making him feel comfortable and welcome here!” Kinnucan commented. 

Everyone thrives here at Choice. Every single member has an active part in our community and we are so grateful for their service. 

Below are the names of our office staff at our schools. Give them a special thank you for their work and commitment to make our schools thrive every single day. 

Battle Creek Montessori Academy

  • Denise Bontempo, Administrative Assistant

Benton Harbor Charter School Academy

  • Denisha Hudson, Office Manager
  • Jessica Worthington, Bookkeeper

Bradford Academy

  • Audrey Arrington, High School Secretary
  • Kia Flowers, Elementary School Secretary
  • Shatrese Roberson, Middle School Secretary
  • Michelle Armstrong, Bookkeeper
  • Marleen Williams, Pupil Accounting and Compliance

Creative Montessori Academy

  • Diana Fencil, Administrative Assistant
  • Carrie Simpson, Administrative Assistant/Nutrition Coordinator
  • Jessica Beaudrie, Office Manager

Dove Academy

  • Keira Driskell, Administrative Assistant
  • Kathie Hahn, Business Manager

Four Corner Montessori Academy

  • Merry Ripley, Bookkeeper/School Nutrition Director
  • Alex Byrd, Office Manager

Ivywood Classical Academy

  • Amanda Bieniewicz, Office Manager

Lake Superior Academy

  • Melissa Perron, Administrative Assistant

Livingston Classical Academy

  • Cindi Hartmann, Office Manager
  • Julia Kautz, Office Assistant

Macomb Montessori Academy

  • Kenesha Douglas, Office Manager

Muskegon Montessori Academy of Environmental Change

  • Adrianne Schmitt, Office Manager

New Branches Charter Academy

  • Giny Aho, Office Manager
  • Patricia Provot, Bookkeeper

Three Oaks Public School Academy

  • Sue Thomae, Office Manager
  • Brian Anderson, Administrative Assistant

West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science

  • Amanda Kinnucan, Office Manager
  • Susan Stieber, Secondary Administrative Assistant
  • Ashley Arnold, Elementary Administrative Assistant
  • Meg Becker, Early Childhood Office Manager

Will Carleton Academy

  • Carla Stewart, Administrative Assistant
  • Chelsi Dryer, Administrative Assistant