HAMEL - After 36 and a half years with District #7, Hamel Elementary secretary Janet Wiltshire will retire at the end of January. She is one of the District’s longest active employees.
A resident of Midway, Wiltshire began her District #7 career in August 1985 on the playground at Midway Elementary.
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“It was close enough that I could go back and forth from home and work easily, and my daughter was in first grade at that time.”
Her time with District #7 has also included working in the Midway Media Center and serving as secretary at both Glen Carbon Elementary and Goshen Elementary. She came to Hamel in 2017.
Of course, there were other “unofficial jobs” she did along the way from subbing as a custodian to being a special education assistant and even helping the part-time nurse at Hamel.
“I think I’ve done everything except be a teacher. I’ve always done anything and everything that was needed.”
Working in one place for 36-plus years is not something many are able to do.
According to Wiltshire, it’s been the people that have kept her in the District.
“It didn’t matter what school I was at. The people have always been wonderful.”
She’s seen a lot of change in her 36 years – most notably the fact that everything is now on computers – and has also been seeing a second generation of students come through the buildings.
“Some of the students at Hamel now, I had their parents at Midway. It’s good to see those former kids grow up and be successful and happy.”
Wiltshire never expected or planned to retire, but the decision for her retirement came with the birth of her first grandchild born last June.
“She lives in Kansas City with my son and daughter-in-law and he’s a minister there, which means they are not off on the weekends and I am. And I just want to be able to see her more.”
Although Wiltshire is looking forward to more time with her granddaughter and more motorcycle rides with her husband, stepping away from Hamel and District #7 will not be easy.
“I will definitely miss the kids the most. And the people I work with. I love the teachers at Hamel, they are all very sweet.”