Betsy Maki started working at Lowell High School at the start of the 1994-1995 school year. Last week she retired after spending nearly 26 years in an administrative role at Lowell High School (LHS). She has become friends with many she has worked with and has touched the lives of countless kids she has come in contact with over the years. Last Friday, January 31 was her last day of work
Organizing the Organization
Maki started her first year at the high school the same year it opened to new students. That first year she split her time between the Athletic Office and the Counseling Office. Then, for 17 years she was housed in the Main Office but worked solely for the Athletic Office. Finally, for the past 7.5 years her office was located in the Freshman Office where her main duties remained with the Athletic Office but she also provided support for the Freshman Center. “I am really going to miss my job, it has been the perfect job for me all these years.” she says of heading into retirement.
With her youngest daughter starting first grade, Maki’s husband encouraged her to apply for the position at LHS. She says she was hesitant at first but thankful she did it because the last 20+ years she had an amazing job. Maki would be the first Athletic Department Administrative Assistant. Prior to the taking on the position, the Athletic Director was responsible for Maki’s duties with some help from the Main Offic staff and student aides. While she loved many aspects of her job, including the kids and people she worked with and being on the same schedule throughout the year as her own kids, it was keeping things organized where she found herself most enjoyable moments.
In recent years she has kept track of athletes, making sure they are registered and eligible for their sport. She has also helped coaches by making sure facilities are scheduled for games and practices, set up transportation for away games, scheduled workers for home events, collected scores from coaches, collected and deposited athletic fees, and prepared awards for athletes at the end of their sport’s season to name just a few things. All of the tasks Maki took on ensured activities of athletes, coaches, and sporting events themselves remained seamless. If you’ve been part of a high school sports team or have gone to any sport event, you’ve experienced something Maki has had a hand in.
Maki says the most challenging part of her job was trying to accommodate all of the requests for gym use. “It is like a puzzle trying to fit everyone in where and when we can!” she remarks. But her organizational skills made all of those who use the gym to ensure they have the time they need.
Looking Forward to Family Time
Maki’s husband, Steve and their daughters Kristen and Laura have been supportive of her time working at LHS. “I’m sure it was probably annoying for my kids at times when they were attending high school but it didn’t stop them from popping in to ask for a five spot every now and then!” she says. With her children now grown, she has four grandchildren she’s looking forward to spending more time with in retirement.
One grandchild, Clara lives with her parents in Maryland. Maki is eager to visit more frequently now that she will have more time. Her other three grandchildren Annabelle, Matthew and Pieter live 10 minutes away and she plans on watching them two days a week. Maki will also spend time volunteering at Flat River Outreach Ministries and her church. She also plans on looking for a part-time job a day or two each week. Whatever free time is left will be spent on hobbies and traveling with her husband.
Maki feels blessed to have worked for her bosses over the years and alongside the office staff at the high school. She says she’ll miss the organization and structure that came with her job but won’t miss her alarm going off at 5:30AM during the school year. She concludes with, “I so thoroughly enjoyed working with and for everyone, from co-workers and bosses, to coaches and athletes, to parents and the community. I will not disappear from Lowell Athletics, I still plan on seeing you all at the games!” Whether you’re a student or a member of the staff you’re always a Red Arrow upon graduation or retirement.
Maki’s replacement is Kimberly Perry (pictured with Maki above). The two have been training together and Maki says she will do a “FABULOUS job”.
Photos courtesy of the Maki family and used with permission. Take a look at Betsy Maki’s career at LHS in below.