Both loving mothers of children in the district who were looking for something just a little more in life, Monica Noonan and Dora Fowler separately applied for positions as media materials clerks at FHC.
Noonan had previously worked at Thornapple Elementary School, but when she saw the job posting for FHC, she transferred.
“[Young adults and little kids] are both so fun,” Noonan said. “The younger ones, of course, are sweet and adorable and send you crayon-written notes. But it’s just fun to deal with older students who get your humor. We share a lot of laughs and hugs and we wipe tears, and it’s so rewarding to be with these older kids at this final phase of their academic career before they go on to college.”
On the other hand, Fowler had been a stay-at-home mom for nine years prior to working in the library. She had wanted to stay on her kids’ schedule and not interfere with their lives, but also be able to get out and do something.
“[The schedule] is convenient,” Fowler said. “It’s the perk of getting to feel like the stay-at-home mom. I get to take my kids to school, I get to make their lunches, and do all of the things that all of regular stay-at-home moms get to do, but I also get to leave, go somewhere, be around other people besides my kids and I, and interact with other adults.”
While their situations are similar, Noonan and Fowler could not be any more different, but it truly works in their favor.
“She’s good cop. I’m bad cop,” Fowler said. “If we see something going on in the media center, she’s the calm one. Then, if I see that they’re not doing what she has asked, I’ll follow through with the more firm hand. She’s calmer than I am, so it works. Whenever I feel myself getting angry about something, I can go to her and say, ‘Am I being reasonable?’ She’s my adviser and I run things by her.”
Like fire and ice, they still make things work exceptionally well. Though Fowler feels like the fiery bad cop in need of her partner in crime to cool her down, Noonan mentions how helpful Fowler is to her on a daily basis.
“She makes me laugh every single day,” Noonan said. “And she can tell right when she comes in if I’m having a day. She’ll come in and take over when she knows I need it. I hope I can do the same for her.”
They also came into their relationship with books very differently.
Noonan being a book-lover from a young age whose job in a media center just united her with an old passion, she’s a natural-born reader.
However, Fowler didn’t come into reading until a late age before her kids were born.
“I couldn’t tell you one book I read when I was in high school,” Fowler said. “I started traveling for work, spending a lot of time on planes and in airports. I just started picking up books in the bookstore by the terminal, and I was hooked. I actually read Harry Potter as an adult on planes. I loved it. I used to take the sleeve off so people wouldn’t know what I was reading because I was embarrassed to be reading a children’s book, but I loved them.”
Noonan and Fowler may be two completely different people, but both of their hearts are in the right places, especially when it comes to their students. They always wish they had more to offer the students at FHC.
Trying their hardest to bring an air of comfortability to FHC’s media center, the dynamic duo leaves the school every day excited to come back the next morning.
“I hope the place is welcoming, but I really hope we are welcoming to students,” Noonan said. “There’s something for everybody here, whether they read or not.”