Rebecca Shen and Kim Walsh
The student body at Jamesville Dewitt High School will be saying goodbye to a loved staff member: Counseling Center secretary Renee Palladino. However, she won’t be far away; in fact, she will only be a few hundred feet down the hall.
Mrs. Palladino has accepted a new position in the Jamesville-DeWitt District Office as a payroll clerk. She will begin work on Monday, May 16th. Because Mrs. Palladino’s children are older, “it seemed to be a good time to accept a job that requires [her] to work the entire year.” In the meantime, she will continue working as a secretary in the Counseling Center. She has enjoyed her time as secretary very much. Her job was made enjoyable because she was never bored. “Everyone who takes on a job like this brings their own strengths and makes it their own. I’ve tried to do that the best I could.”
Principal Paul Gasparini supported Mrs. Palladino to apply and pursue her new position. “I knew she is the best person for the job, and I knew it was very important for the district to have someone of her caliber,” says Mr. Gasparini, who really appreciates Mrs. Palladino for making mundane tasks, like formulating the master schedule each year, more enjoyable with her energetic and enthusiastic attitude. “She brings a love for the high school, a love for the students, and a desire to contribute her energies, intelligence, and skill to the betterment of our school,” says Mr. Gasparini. He also believes that Mrs. Palladino is the ideal mentor for the incoming secretary. “We have a lot of confidence that she will be able to impart a lot of knowledge to the new person, and I think having her as a mentor will help continue the service that students and parents have come to expect in the Counseling Center.” Gasparini also adds that Mrs. Palladino’s eye for detail is going to serve her well in her new role as payroll clerk.
Mrs. Palladino is known for her constant aura of kindness and companionship. “I’ve loved what I do here because I hope that, even in a small way, I’ve helped to make someone else’s day better, whether is be one of our students or one of my co-workers,” Mrs. Palladino says. She considers her co-workers to be some of her best friends. “I’m going to miss everything. The counseling staff are all incredible people and it’s been my privilege to work with them.” Students who stop by the Counseling Center love talking to Mrs. Palladino and even gave her the nickname, “Mama P.” Her connection with the Jamesville-DeWitt High School students run deep, as evidenced by the many people reluctant to say goodbye. “Mrs. Palladino always makes me feel welcomed. She is super kind and easy to talk to,” says senior Samantha Coombs, “I am going to miss her.” Junior Sarah Hildreth and sophomore Ayla Erwin are both also going to miss her positive attitude and the occasional hershey kisses she gave out to students. “She’s so sweet! I know some people are afraid to go to the Counseling Center because they think it it scary, but she always made it such a comfortable place,” says Erwin.
Mrs. Palladino has put a lot of thought into making the decision to switch positions. With her background in finance and economics, she is well qualified for her new job. She calls herself “one of those ‘math’ people who loves to work with numbers all day long.” She looks forward most to “crunching numbers” and having a window in the room where she will be working.
Mrs. Palladino’s extensive knowledge of the systems the counselors use, including Schooltool and college-related setups, has been vital to keeping the counseling office running smoothly. “She understands kids and understands what we do as a school,” says counselor Mrs. Lestrange. Mrs. Palladino has even prepared a book of everything she does in order for the new person to learn the new job. “We found someone great to replace her and I can’t wait to welcome her with open arms, but Mrs. Palladino’s the whole package,” says Mrs. Lestrange. While the counselors are confident that the new secretary will do a great job, Ms. Bond says that she “will be wearing different shoes.”
While everyone at JD will surely miss Mrs. Palladino, the counselors especially will have a hard time saying goodbye. “She made our lives a thousand times easier. Her humor, her organization, you just can’t beat it,” says counselor Ms. Bond, who has been working with Mrs. Palladino for four years. The counselors sees Mrs. Palladino’s role as especially important because she is the first line of contact that most people see and talk to in the counseling office. “She’s caring and senses what they need as she directs them. She has a warm and positive approach to everyone.” Several counselors, including Mr. Gualterri and Ms. Bond, says that Mrs. Palladino can even “smile through the phone.”
While staff will miss her dearly, they are also very enthusiastic about her future. “We know we’re in good hands at the district office with the task that she’s doing,” says Mr. Gasparini. When asked “What will you miss most about Mrs. Palladino?” Mr. Gaulterri took a long pause and said, “I will miss so many things it’s hard to describe in one conversation. It’s a combination of her personality and the great attitude that she brings into everything she does combined with her tremendous ability to handle everything that comes into our office with efficiency and grace.” Ms. Bond adds, “I will miss everything. There’s no way to encapsulate it. You can’t beat it.”