Front office is command central at Mocksville Elementary

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

Michelle Bracken knew the little boy well.

It was in the middle of the coldest part of the winter, and the car his family used to bring him to and from school no longer worked.

Their plan was to walk the 1.6 miles with their kindergarten-age son to the school. Signing up for getting a bus to come by was confusing to them, and takes a while, but the parents were determined their son was going to get an education and succeed.

In step Michelle Bracken.

“I called the bus garage and explained the situation, and got the bus to stop for him the next day,” she said. “Then I called the family and told them they didn’t have to walk, just get him to the bus stop.”

Stories like this could go on and on from the office administrator at Mocksville Elementary School.

She’s the first person visitors see when they enter the school. She’s the go-to person for copies and faxes, and she helps the nurse with student medications. She’s the first person students see when they’re sent to the office, whether they’re sick, in trouble or getting picked up by a parent. She’s had to “babysit” students whose parents were late in picking them up.

“I love meeting and greeting people and serving the community, which we do for the children,” she said. “For a lot of children, this is their safe place. Some days they just need a hug.

“This is a very busy place. We have 550 students (and 85 staff members), the largest elementary school in the county. I like it here because I get to stay busy, and I love the people who work here.”

She has a special place in her heart for the students from low-income families, or from non-supportive families. “Some of the lower-income families have hardships that we don’t think about.

“This is a really good school. The teachers care and go above and beyond. It’s a very safe school. After academics, safety is our No. 1 priority.

“It’s a good county to work for. People know you and are willing to help each other out. I’ve never really wanted to go anywhere else. Davie County is caring.”

She was working at North Davie Middle School when then MES office administrator Pamm Collins called her and told her to apply for the job.

“There’s never a dull moment, we use our walkies a lot around here. I live the programs we offer, like honoring the veterans. And at Christmas, we always have an assembly. I think majority of the kids love coming here.

“I never dread coming to work. It really is a great place. I tell people I just work the front desk, and they say ‘Michelle, you run the whole school’.”