A sad goodbye met with a welcome hello: Q&As with Wendy Ellis and Sara Stadel


Sara Stadel (left) and Wendy Ellis (right) in the office

Wendy Ellis has been working hard and being a friendly face at FHC for eleven years. This was her last week here.

1. Why are you moving?
“My husband got a new job in Florida, so [my family is] all moving down. It was an opportunity we just couldn’t refuse.”

2. What do your new adventures entail?
“Pretty much just getting to go experience Florida—I’ve always wanted to live in Florida, so I’m glad that he got the job opportunity. And then our kids are moving with us, too, so we’re very excited about that. I don’t have a job yet or anything, but I probably will find something.”

3. What are you most looking forward to?
“Having sunshine a lot.”

4. How has your experience here shaped you?
“I think that it just makes you a little more appreciative of people in general, you know, getting along with one another and learning that there’s so many different people in the world. You kind of have to be a little more patient with some people.”

5. Why did you start?
“Well, I first started when I was at East Kentwood, and I really enjoyed it there, but my kids came to school here. An opportunity opened up in the athletic office so I thought I’d try for it, and it was only a mile away from our house, and I happened to get in, so it was pretty fun. Being back in the athletics was very lonely; you’re way in the back all by yourself so when the other secretary retired here, I thought I would come up and that way I could work with the kids and the community.”

6. What will you miss most?
“Definitely seeing the students and working with my colleagues. We’re like family, so it makes it a little hard to leave.”

7. What is your favorite state?
“Florida, definitely.”

8. What is your favorite Michigan memory?
“Probably raising my kids here. Just being home with them and watching them go through school—which they all came through here, too. Getting to meet new people and friends here, that’ll be the hard part—leaving the people we know and good friends.”


Sara Stadel will be taking over for Ellis as the new secretary.

1. Why did you decide to start working here?
“Well, I worked at an elementary school before, and I really like working in a school because it aligns with my kids’ schedules, so it allows me to balance being with my kids and family and working.”

2. How does the high school differ from the elementary school?
“Well, there’s a lot more students here than there was at my previous job, and this is full-time—I was only working part-time before—and now I get to be around teenagers versus little kids, so it’s just a different experience.”

3. What do you like about working here so far?
“The staff has been really great. Getting to know everyone here in the office has been a lot of fun. The students have been really great and welcoming, so, yeah, it’s fun. It’s a fun atmosphere.”

4. What’s your favorite state?
“That’s a hard question. I would probably have to say either Florida or Texas.”

5. What is the most rewarding part?
“Being able to help people everyday. If somebody needs something, whether it’s a student or another staff member, being able to answer a question or help out when I can.”

6. What is the hardest part so far?
“I don’t know yet. So far, there hasn’t been anything that’s really been difficult, maybe remembering staff’s names, and I hope to get to know kids and students by their names, so I would imagine with almost twelve hundred here that’ll be a little bit more difficult, but I hope to be able to [learn the names of] at least the ones that I interact with.”