After 18 years of service to Cromwell College, in various administrative roles, Megan Christensen has resigned as office manager to begin her new life in Dunedin, working at Otago University.
She came to the school from Adelaide, with a background in hotel management for a large hotel chain.
Her first employment was for five hours a week as the International Home Stay coordinator. In fact, over the years, she has hosted 13 international
For Megan, coming to a small town, working with children, and learning the education terminology in a school were challenges. The office was totally manual, school reports were hand-written, everybody paid in cash, and a roll monitor went to every class with a clipboard.
Now everything is computerised with transactions processed by the push of a button. Reports are e-mailed home, teachers mark the roll online and the system automatically contacts parents, and there are no longer hundreds of children in the office to pay cash for a school trip. The office role is quite a lot easier. However, the job content now for an office administrator has probably grown tenfold.
Megan says, “The school office is always very busy – lots going on. You need to be able to multi-task and be putting out many fires at the same time. A good memory is a must. I pride myself that I can name all the students at school with the exception of the Years 7’s and can also name most of their parents.”
She remembers that her most challenging time was when the administration block was being re-built, and the principal, three assistant principals, account department and office all ran form a porticom building.
“I’m really sad to be leaving and will miss everyone staff, students and parents,” says Megan, adding, “I have loved working here. No two days were ever the same. The staff team is like family; everyone looks out for each other. The senior leadership team and the office team had a very close relationship and we ran things like a well-oiled machine. It was really enjoyable working with students and fun to see how much they change over their time at school. I hope I have managed to impact their lives in a positive way.”
Principal and staff say they have never worked with such an efficient person, and wonder at her impressive memory.
Mason Stretch, Principal, says, that he is most grateful for Megan’s support of him fourteen years ago, when he was a new principal at the college.
“That, and her efficiency, her initiative, her capacity for mahi along with her sense of calm and her gentle reminders of what I’ve forgotten.”
As Megan says, after dealing with over 300 staff, 2,000 students and their parents over the last 18 years, “Life in a school office is never boring!”