Susan Waldie absolutely loves working at Eliot Elementary, and that love has earned her place as a Support Employee of the Year finalist.
Susan has always been a team player and went wherever the district needed her most.
Susan is currently the attendance clerk at Eliot. Her history with Tulsa Public Schools began over 12 years ago when her youngest of three kids enrolled at Grissom Elementary School.
“[I decided] I want to work in a school. I want to contribute to making the world a better place,” said Susan. “When my youngest went to school, I started helping teachers, and it’s still my passion to this day. I love helping teachers.”
Susan worked at Grissom for four years before moving on to help with Project Schoolhouse. When that happened, she got assigned to do half-day Pre-K at Eliot and Carnegie Elementary schools.
She did that until she was asked to help out with the autism program at Carnegie. Susan was the perfect fit as she has some special education training as well as a degree in child development and family relations from Oklahoma State University. With her training and education, Susan was great working with students in small groups.
When the attendance clerk position opened at Eliot, Susan seized the opportunity to help teachers and families on a school-wide level.
“I love it. I hope I get to be here for a very long time,” said Susan.
Susan adores the staff and Eliot’s lifestyle.
Susan said, “We have a fantastic family atmosphere here. There’s a lot of supporting one another and getting students what they need.”
She says the teachers are fantastic and never stop working on ways to help their students.
“Even at their lunch [the teachers] are talking about how to get their students to succeed,” said Susan. “As I sit in there, I think ‘wow’ the people that work here love what they do and want to work as a team to make things run better.”
Being selected as a finalist has Susan feeling humbled and honored, yet she still finds a way to use it to connect with Eliot families.
“You don’t do it for recognition; you do it for how it impacts someone else. For people to turn around and say ‘thank you’, that means a lot,” said Susan. “I had a mom come in and start to cry when she found out I got nominated. She said, ‘I’m a single mom, and you helped us so much.’ And I said you are what I do this for.”
She said being nominated has allowed her to have these moments with people. She said it’s “a lot of smiles and a lot of joy going around.”
Congratulations to Susan Waldie on being one of five finalists for the 2019-2020 Tulsa Public Schools Support Employee of the Year. The winner will be announced later this year.