Data driven: WRD specialist likes attention to detail

Published 10:37 am Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

Tracy Kassell and husband Bob are like many families that now call Davie County home.

They could have moved to any of the surrounding counties.

But they chose Davie when they moved here from New York more than 20 years ago.

“We were basically in pursuit of a good school system and we landed in Davie,” she said. They had three young children, and were looking for a better lifestyle.

She had grown up in rural New York, a rural community with farms and small subdivisions, prior to moving to the city.

“We wanted our children to have that,” she said.

After moving here, Tracy liked what she saw in the local school system so much that she got a job was a teaching assistant, most of them at the Davie County Early College. Now, she is the data manager and financial bookkeeper at William R. Davie Elementary.

“I was looking to brush up on my computer skills,” she said. “I’m on a computer all day, every day. It’s a lot of details, but I’m a detail person. I’m better at behind-the-scenes kind of support. I work more with staff. I handle their concerns and work with the central office.”

That’s a slight exaggeration about being at the computer all of the time, as she helps out elsewhere in the office when needed, especially on days when parents are visiting.

“I a jack of all trades and the master of none,” she said with a smile.

Tracy comes from a family with a military service tradition, and she applied to West Point, and ended up entering the Coast Guard Academy. She later served aboard The Eagle, but the life was tough – especially for a woman. There weren’t many around, and some of the men still didn’t think they should serve alongside women.

She went to command college, and earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies, and took a job with MetLife in the corporate office. “My skillset was corporate training; so I taught adults and flew all over the country.”

It was this time when she met her husband to be, and she decided to change directions again, and earned a teaching degree from the University of New York at Oswego.

“I’ve always liked the idea of helping people grow in their lives.”

She’s getting plenty of chances to do just that at William R. Davie.

“We have a great staff. The people here are like family, very caring about the students and their families,” she said. “The people here do the best they can. It’s not an easy job. We do a lot of engagement with our families.”

If you want to know about any of the historic or tourist sites in this area, ask Tracy or her husband. They’ve visited many of them.

She even worked a stint as an ambassador for “Our State” magazine. “I bring a curiosity to whatever I’m doing,” she said.

“I’m grateful to be a part of this community. I feel so richly blessed in terms of my life and my health and my children doing well. I have nothing to complain about.”