While entering absences on her computer, Miss Jill Ledbetter spoke to a parent on the phone and motioned for the next student in line to step forward to receive a tardy slip.
Since 2009, Miss Jill kept the attendance office running smoothly — not an easy task when considering that involves tracking the whereabouts of close to 900 students. In her thirteen years here, she shared space with four discipline secretaries, worked closely with eight assistant principals, and experienced the leadership styles of three principals.
With her bachelor’s degree in social studies education nearly complete, Miss Jill has decided to transition to classroom teacher. Prior to becoming the attendance clerk, she worked for seventeen years as a commercial insurance agent specializing in oil and gas.
“I switched to secretarial work because my daughter started junior high, and I wanted to be on her same school schedule,” Miss Jill said.
Miss Jill said she has so many “best” memories here that it is difficult for her to choose just one.
“The teachers and staff at KMS are family to me, and I smile thinking of all the great memories with so many people,” Miss Jill said.
Leaving the Attendance office is bittersweet since KMS has been Miss Jill’s work home for so many years.
“I will miss those that I work closely with each day but will not miss the tracers and tardies,” Miss Jill said.
Long-time colleagues expressed happiness for Miss Jill in her new adventure but sadness at losing her.
“Jill was such an asset to our Kimmons Family,” Ms. Putman said. “We will miss her being in the office working to keep our kids accountable and where they need to be.”
Outside of an office setting, Miss Jill can be found at Fort Smith Little Theater where she has acted, directed, and written plays for 22 years. Her 10th grade high school English teacher at Northside inspired Miss Jill’s love of the stage.
“Even though we are not related, Mr. Moody and I had the same last name, which caused people to assume he was my father,” Miss Jill said. “Finally, I just went with it.”
When not on stage or in the office, Miss Jill turned to art for self expression and is now an international published artist. In fact, next summer, Miss Jill’s art will be on exhibit at the PAKS Gallery for the International Fine Art Cannes Biennale in Vienna, Austria, and Munich, Germany.