Affton woman works 60 years at schools -

Affton woman works 60 years at schools

AFFTON, Mo. (AP) -- Talk about tenure. A St. Louis-area school administrator is celebrating her 60th year working for her district.

Seventy-six-year-old Mary Ann Schiller began working for the Affton School District when she was a high school senior. After 60 years, she still has no plans to retire, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

She's worked as the superintendent's administrative assistant since 1970.

Schiller is also No. 2 in seniority out of more than 129,000 public school employees in Missouri.

Only six public school employees in Missouri have more than 50 years of service.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education honored her last month as one of the year's "Pioneers in Education."

The award honors folks "for their distinguished careers and contributions to Missouri public education."

"I just enjoy my work," Schiller said. "I always have."

The most senior employee started a few months before Schiller and works in school administration in west-central Missouri, said Steve Yoakum, director of the Public School Retirement System of Missouri.

Only six current public school employees in Missouri have more than 50 years of service. The average years of service is 16.5 years.

District employee, Ginny Fischer, said while some employees show up in capris and flip-flops, Fischer always wears impeccable business attire.

"Everything Mary Ann does is done to perfection," Fischer says. "She's a true lady in every sense of the word. She's just awesome."

Schiller attended Affton schools since the third grade and graduated Affton High in 1951 as class salutatorian.

Schiller worked as an elementary school secretary for several years before moving to the central office in 1960, where she worked as the assistant to the assistant superintendent for elementary education. In 1970, she was reassigned to become the superintendent's secretary, a job she has held since.

She's worked for eight superintendents and has attended nearly every school board meeting.

"I've had many people say, 'Oh, when you retire, you ought to write a book," she said. "But I say what happens in the boardroom, stays in the board room. What happens in the superintendent's office, stays in the superintendent's office."

Superintendent Don Francis said he quickly found how valuable Schiller was to the district when he started the job four years ago.

"She remembers things that we used to do 20 years ago, and why we did them that way," he said. "She's really good at keeping me on top of things, and reminding me when things need to get done."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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