Imagine loving where you work. Few are fortunate enough to say that. Susan Karlik, who works at Robert Gordon Elementary School, can. She loves the school and has put her heart into it ever since she was child. See, Mrs. Karlik not only works in Robert Gordon, she went to school there – starting at Kindergarten. Not only that, her three children went to school there and now her granddaughter attends the place where she has been an administrative assistant going on 19 years. She has stood witness to thousands of educators and students.
And this morning, members of the Robert Gordon PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) honored Mrs. Karlik with a Lifetime PTA membership on Secretary/Administrative Assistant Day. Unbeknownst to Mrs. Karlik, a group of parents walked in with flowers, an honorary PTA pin, and a Lifetime PTA membership certificate to thank her, not only for Secretary’s Day but for who she is and what she does.
At first, Mrs. Karlik, always the professional, cordially thanked the women as they presented her with their tokens of appreciation. Then her daughter came, and her smile was more relaxed. Then she saw her granddaughter who gave her a big hug and Susan’s smile was accompanied by a deep breath that held back tears of appreciation and gratitude.
“This is such an honor. It’s something I didn’t expect. I’m totally shocked,” Susan said, taking a breath, while keeping an eye on things, always mindful of the hectic pace that is a school’s main office, “I love Robert Gordon. I think this is the best school. I love our teachers, our principal.”
Melissa Stamboly, one of the representatives on-hand this morning, remarked about Mrs. Karlik, “We just love her because she helps us all out so much.”
Looking over her pin and certificate with pride, Susan continued, “We have the best PTA. It has always gone above and beyond.”
After hugs and kisses, the ceremony was over and Mrs. Karlik got back to work; answering questions, answering phones, moving the school along, at the heart of everything, and putting her heart into everything she does.
Principal Kenny, when asked about Mrs. Karlik, commented, “She is the heart of the school.”