Putting Out Fires
By Raphael Maurice
"You want them to be safe in the world we have now. In this community, caring for neighbors and kids is a strength – we always put the kids first"
Amber Wood, the Administrative Assistant for the Principal at Je-Neir Elementary, finds her day-to-day tasks diverse and engaging. She's adept at "putting out fires," a skill that encompasses a range of responsibilities. These include assisting IT with extra tasks, managing payroll, ensuring school security, and providing support to teachers. Above all, her focus is on the well-being of the students. Amber has always felt a calling to this school, having volunteered before transitioning to her full-time role. Her dedication shines through in her willingness to give her time freely, expecting nothing in return. Having lived in the area since she was thirteen, Amber graduated from Momence High School and assumed her role as Administrative Assistant in 2020. She's committed to ensuring that Je-Neir Elementary remains a safe haven for children. Kids feel comfortable approaching her, assured they'll be heard and their concerns addressed seriously. Amber, along with her colleagues, takes necessary precautions to maintain a secure environment for everyone at the school.“I have to tell the parents, too,” Amber explains, “when we take the kids around every year, showing different areas, we emphasize that our biggest rule is safety. You don't let anybody in, even if it's mommy or Grandma. You don't. You come to us, and we will handle it.” Her expertise in enforcing these rules is a testament to her dedication to consistent safety measures.