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Missouri Association of Rural Education



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2006 Outstanding Rural Support Staff Member

Janise Gardner

Janise Gardner, Outstanding Rural Support Staff Member, Chilhowee R-IV School District

Janise Gardner has been described as the "Best Secretary in the Whole World!" For the last two years, she has served as the school office secretary in the Chilhowee R-IV School District, Chilhowee, Missouri.  

Behind every successful school district is the building secretary.  Mrs. Gardner always has a welcoming smiling and always brings a smile to the faces of other people.  She goes out of her way to be helpful to everyone.  Janise is always available.  Even though she is "always busy, she will drop everything to come to ones aid."  Part of always being available means that Janise is often found at her desk early in the morning or long after she has already put in enough hours, that she could have gone home.  She really goes above and beyond the call of duty all the time. 

A staff member comments, "Mrs.Gardner demonstrates exemplary skills that play a vital part in keeping our school system running smoothly.  She goes above and beyond the duties of her job to keep the school running efficiently."  She is the backbone of all the staff. 

For the students in the Chilhowee school, most have known Janise for many years and often refer to her as "Aunt Janise".  Students do not hesitate to ask for assistance and in most cases are directed to the right person for answers.  Whenever Mrs. Gardner finds a student in need, she does her best to find ways to support those needs, which might be helping with clothing, food, etc. 

Janise Gardner is the districts liaison between the school and community.  She actively participates in the community by supporting local activities, serving as the city treasurer, and as the water/sewer collector.  By her community participation, she serves in such a way as to bridge the gap between the school and community. 

Janice Gardner is more than a secretary; she is a friend, mother, grandmother, confidante, problem-solver, fairy godmother, an unsung hero, making it fitting for her selection as the Missouri Outstanding Rural Support Staff member for 2006.