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Longtime school employee to retire

April 07, 2003|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

Since 1979, "Miss Ruby" has provided visitors to Salem Avenue Elementary School with a smiling first impression.

The school's front office secretary has enrolled hundreds of students, answered countless phone calls and divvied out more than her share of late slips. She's calmed upset parents, loaned lunch money to students, supported teachers and administrators - and watched former students return to school with children of their own, she said.

"That sort of blows your mind at first. It just doesn't seem like I've been doing this for that long," said Ruby Roessner, 58, of Williamsport.

She will end her 40-year career in Washington County Public Schools this summer, when she retires to spend more time with her husband, Quentin, and her ailing mother.

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Roessner will be missed, said faculty and staff members at Salem Avenue Elementary.

"Ruby is always pleasant and professional," Principal Ellen Hayes said. "She knows the community inside and out. She has a really special bond and a trust with the families here. I'm going to cry when she leaves. It will be very difficult."

Roessner started working at the county Board of Education's now defunct black-and-white television studio in 1963, typing scripts and preparing other materials for televised classes. She became the first secretary at the Smithsburg-based Kemp Horn Vocational Center - now the Job Development Center - when the school for disabled children opened in 1972.

Her desire to "be around the little ones" prompted Roessner to transfer to Salem Avenue Elementary seven years later, she said.

"I never had children of my own, and I feel like these children have filled that place in my life," Roessner said. "I believe God had this plan for me."

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