Wendy Ellis’s love for her family inspired her to get a job at the school

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Front office administrative assistant Wendy Ellis is more than just the first friendly face visitors, late students, or anyone who walks into the office sees. She is a wife and a mother of three children.

As a woman who deeply values her family, she loves spending time with them in whatever fashion suits them—beach days, camping adventures, or road trips.

“We love just being together,” Ellis said. “Our little motto is ‘home is where your family is at.’ So as long as we’re doing fun stuff together and making memories [we’re happy].”

Slowly, her children have grown up and moved beyond the walls of their family home; her youngest graduated just last year and currently resides in Ann Arbor.

Their resilient bonds transcend mere distance, but given the fact that Ellis is so connected to her family, being an empty nester hasn’t failed to leave a little hole in her heart.

“It is hard,” Ellis said. “It just kind of made it [seem] like, ‘oh, I’m done. I’m not parenting.’ [I realized,] ‘well, you’re still parenting, but you’re not as involved every day. They’re adults now; you did your job.’”

Even when her children were still living at home, Ellis was a working mother. She spent three years at East Kentwood, and then ten at FHC.

“[My youngest] was going into first grade, [and] I just was starting to feel like, ‘what am I going to do with my day?’ I could clean and do laundry, but that’s not so fun,” Ellis said. “And I just like being around adults and other people, so I thought, ‘what would be a good place to apply?’ And I thought a school would be perfect.”

By becoming employed at a school, Ellis was able to connect with adults, students, and eventually, her own kids.

I love watching [students] grow and blossom; it’s amazing watching kids learn and just become young adults.”

— Wendy Ellis

Once she moved to FHC, she acquired a position as the athletic office assistant. She held this job for three years and subsequently became the front office administrative assistant—her current position

Under the title of front office administrative assistant, Ellis accomplishes a myriad of tasks for the school. Her roles are so extensive that she can barely name them all, but her responsibilities include answering phones, giving out detentions, presiding over all honors awards, and acting as a doctor.

However, Ellis’s favorite part of her job is not the variety of her infinite odd jobs or the daily diversity of her endeavors; it is the simple fact that she is fortunate enough to interact daily with kids.

“I love kids because it’s amazing watching students grow and learn, not only academically, but also going from young teens to young adults deciding what to do with their futures,” Ellis said. “I think that’s why I love working in a school so much. I love watching [students] grow and blossom; it’s amazing watching kids learn and just become young adults.”

Her love for children and teens is what sets her apart from many of the adults she knows; she cherishes her job and looks forward to the opportunity of going to work every day.

But there are days when her job is not always the most exhilarating. Many people aren’t aware that Ellis has to come to school even on days when students are sitting in their pajamas, sleeping in, and not being worried about slippery roads.

“The most boring part is when I have to work on any snow days and there are no students, no parents calling, and very little happening,” Ellis said.

But other than the occasional snow day, students filter in and out of the office every day; they are called down, they are late, they have a question, they are turning in an attendance sheet for a substitute.

No matter why they are in the office, however, Ellis is happy to serve as a beacon of light and assistance.

“It’s my goal every day to just make people feel comfortable when they come in,” Ellis said. “I think the most rewarding part is definitely seeing a student smile, making their day, or helping them in some way.”