Amanda Kinnucan plays a vital role in West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science’s daily success. Her title is Office Assistant, but her work plays a huge role in achieving WMAES’ growth, goals and establishing its culture. You can often find her behind-the-scenes completing tasks that contribute to the school’s success so that all students’ needs are met. She creates an environment where the school and community thrive.
From school compliance to handling all purchases and payments, she always has a smile on her face. She works side-by-side with what she calls the “best team ever!” Elementary Principal Kerri Barrett and elementary Vice Principal Nathan VanDruinen and Principal Alan Bosker and Dean of Students Josh Miller of the high school “make work so much fun.”
Dig deeper into Ms. Kinnucan’s responsibilities and drive for student success through her interview below.
What are your responsibilities and how many years have you worked at WMAES?
My responsibilities include pupil accounting, school compliance, all purchases and payments for the school, staff attendance and payroll, handling bank deposits for the school, and various other office duties. I have been working at WMAES for almost six years now.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day starts with greeting students and helping our administrative assistant with sick call-ins and tardy passes. I also work to help fill any staff absences with substitute teachers.
The rest of the day consists of working on pupil accounting, taking care of whatever compliance items are due to our authorizer, ordering and checking in items that I have purchased for our school and helping with students and parents as they come into the office.
Are there other office staff at WMAES? What are the various titles and how are the responsibilities divided up?
Yes, we have an administrative assistant in both our elementary and secondary offices, as well as a brand new office manager in our Early Childhood Center. The ladies that I work with are great and I couldn’t imagine coming to work and getting through my day without them!
Our administrative assistants are the first people to greet everyone as they come into the office. They handle many issues that arise through the day in the front office, enter all of the attendance for students, and work on new student enrollments.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I think the most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I make a difference in ensuring that the school has supplies and resources it needs to help our students on a daily basis.
What is the biggest challenge?
A part of my job that can be challenging is finding time in the day for all the tasks that need to be completed. I have found that staying very organized helps with this. I keep track of items that are due on my calendar and always start my day with a list of everything that needs to be done before the end of the day. Checking items off my list helps ensure that things are done when the days get busy.
Give me an example of how you have contributed to a student having success at WMAES.
My job allows me to contribute in many ways whether it be making sure that necessary supplies for classes are purchased, submitting accurate pupil accounting data to ensure that our school is compliant, or simply by being a friendly, welcoming face in the office for our students.
There is one student in particular that comes to mind who started here at our school a few years ago during the middle of the year. He was nervous on his first few days here and ended up in the office having a conversation with me. He started visiting me at lunch quite frequently, just to check in and tell me how his day was going. Years later, he still stops in to tell me about his day, to talk about his family, and to fill me in on things that are going on. It is so awesome that I can build relationships with students too!