By Natasha Perez
In her office, seated across her array of events and meetings written neatly on her mountainous calendar, clicking away at her computer, you’d never have known how Alice Haight, the Site Secretary at Jenks, ended up becoming the backbone of the harmonious machine that is Jenks High School.
Haight started as a registered mechanical technologist in Philadelphia where she gained her first taste of the education system.
“I worked at a teaching hospital. I was helping to educate residents, doctors, and other graduate students (about) infectious disease,” says Haight. “I really did enjoy it because it was a challenge because they’re unknowns to begin with and then you whittle it down and figure it out what it is, I kinda miss it”.
Although she loved her working in the medical field. Haight moved to Oklahoma in 1991. Her family was growing and she wanted to be as close to them as possible. She started volunteering at the school her children attended, Jenks High school.
“Honestly I didn’t know anybody here..so I worked in the media center several days a week. Then I would occasionally volunteer in the attendance office,” says Haight. “I finally got (to) the point where I met one of the ladies who had my job originally and asked if I would be interested in working in the office and I was like ‘Sure!’”.
Since then, she became a reliable Jenks staff member. Going above and beyond by working hard and gaining the trust of her partner, the former site secretary. They worked together for a number of years, until one fateful day.
“Eventually she got to the point where she only wanted to handle the financial side so I took care of everything else,” says Haight. “But I still wasn’t full time up until she retired around 2001”.
With Haight working full time as the site secretary, she couldn’t help but appreciate the beauty of her job and the environment it creates.
“It’s a different job every day,” says Haight. “ I could be in the auditorium getting audio, visual stuff set up, or I could be in the multi-purpose room doing the same thing, reorganizing, or covering a class, you never know.”
Haight was always committed to her work and has always been a driving force. Patti French, the lead counselor, has worked with Haight for sixteen years and still can’t help but admire her immortal drive.
“I’ve never seen anyone that’s a harder worker than she is,” says French. “She’ll jump in and take care of whatever needs to get done”.
French isn’t the only one to witness Haight’s amazing work ethic. David Beiler, the site principal, has worked with Haight since 2018 and still impressed by how personable and capable she is.
“Her influence is unmeasurable. She helps to provide consistency and a steadfastness in what we’re doing as a high school and people can rely on her and that’s extremely important,” says Beiler. “It’s just amazing to me what she means to me personally and what she means to our site and I’m grateful to work alongside her”
Everyone will find it hard to see the day whenever Haight will retire. It would be like a shock to the nervous system as if the body were getting used to a new spinal cord.
“When she does retire,” says French. “There won’t be anyone that will do the work Alice Haight does.”
Beiler would have to agree with Mrs. French. They will have big shoes to fill because she does so many things automatically, and she doesn’t even need to give a second thought to it because she’d done it so often and for so long others might see it as impossible.
“When she does retire.. there’s gonna be a steep learning curve just adjusting to not just how to do things but the volume of things that come through her office because she really does handle quite a lot,” says Beiler.
Luckily Haight has no intention of retiring anytime soon. She loves her job; she loves how personable, how unpredictable a day of her job is.
“I have enjoyed working here at the high school..it’s not the same thing every day and that’s what nice about the job,” says Haight, “it’s been a good experience.”
So if you find yourself hanging around the building six offices, make sure to stop by Room #6-2225 and say a quick hello to Mrs.Haight. It’s a small act but a quick hello would make her day and show acknowledgment for all she does for Jenks. We appreciate you Mrs.Haight.
The copy machine isn’t the only thing working hard, Haight is on the case! Organizing future events and addressing concerns.