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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Junior high secretary retires

A teenage boy quietly shuffles into the office. His face is pallor, as he nervously glances around the room. After he slumps in an empty chair, he buries his face in the palm of his clammy hands. A feeling of nausea settles in his stomach.

As his legs begin to twitch he can feel two eyes staring at him.

Joan Swanbom, junior high secretary for six years, contributed more than just answering phones, keeping records and assisting the dean. She understood that her role was more than just a gatekeeper for an office. Her friendly demeanor created a calm environment for students.

After serving as a teacher?s aid for five years and with three children graduated and off to college, Joan felt a need to further her position, she applied for junior high secretary and started working on campus in 2000.

?I knew going into the job that I would definitely enjoy it,? Swanbom, said. ?I was able to minister to people on a daily basis while building relationships with the students, parents, and faculty; that was the main reason why I worked at Fresno Christian.?

Swanbom worked along side George Freeman, dean of students, and David Martens, director of technology. Besides their assigned positions, Swanbom and Freeman became spiritual guidance partners.

?I will miss Mr. Freeman?s sense of energy and wisdom,? Swanbom said. ?Some days would be very stressful but his jokes would lighten the intensity of the day. I learned a lot of spiritual wisdom from him, and it was good to know we were praying for each other on a daily basis.?

Swanbom went on to say that Freeman?s efficiency made a workday more easily manageable, while Freeman commented on Swanbom?s organization.

?Mrs. Swanbom was the real deal, everything that was needed for that position,? Freeman said. ?Super intelligent, great organizer, computer whiz, and very professional while she also expressed her care and concern for students.?

After six years of countless hours working alongside each other, Swanbom and Freeman built a very close relationship in and out of the office.

?She liked my jokes; some people don?t, but she sincerely did,? Freeman said. ?I will miss the joy and life she brought to the office, but mostly I will not look back and remember her as a fellow employee, but as a great friend.?

Swanbom was able to give biblical advice to those students in need. Even future graduates recall her friendly attitude.

?When I was in junior high and I had to go to the office to pick up a consequence Mrs. Swanbom was always there to console me,? Brittnee Masiello, ?06, said. ?I will definitely miss her.?

In the past couple years Swanbom has experienced changes with two new grandchildren and her husband?s retirement.

?I decided to leave for a number of reasons,? Swanbom said. ?Mostly because I needed a less rigid schedule so that I would be able to spend more time with my husband and family. But ultimately God had the final say; he said it was time.?

Swanbom and her husband left for Israel on May 1, 2006, for 12 days on a tour with their church pastor, Larry Braine, a 15-year veteran of excursion, to site see and discover biblical history.

Although Swambom may have a full schedule ahead, memories of the time she spent at Fresno Christian will not soon be forgotten.

?I enjoyed building relationships with the staff, students and teachers,? Swanbom said. ?I was able to be apart of a Christian family and see students grow up in the Lord, it was an unforgettable experience that will be missed.?

Cynthia Ward, new secretary for the junior high office, started work on April 20.

?I heard about the job opening when Joan informed me that she would be leaving,? Ward said. ?I always thought it would be neat to work at FC so I applied for the job and the Lord worked everything out.?

With three children graduated from Fresno Christian and already acquainted with teachers and faculty staff Ward?s new job was sure to be an easy adjustment.

?I love interacting with everyone here and getting to know new students and teachers,? Ward said. ?I especially enjoy working with George Freeman; he makes the day interesting and upbeat with his sense of humor and easygoing attitude.?

For more school news, go to the Read Daily News icon located on the top left column of this newspaper, or read any article under the Latest news icon.

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    Natalie McCallumAug 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Janae, I am so happy for you. You are such a beautiful and deserving queen. Congratulations!