Profile – Mrs. Kathy Simpkins, In her 20th Year of Smiles and Service

Brad Rosenberger

Video by Sam Blurton, Editing by Mr. Bob Gillmer

Sam Blurton, Staff Writer

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TOWAMENCIN – Who makes North Penn run? Naturally a lot of people would consider those faces they see on a day to day basis to be the most important in the building. And most often, people consider that to be teachers and administrators. However, it is easy to overlook some of the people who at some point everyday find themselves at the crossroads of students, teachers, administrators, and parents. A prime example is E-112 attendance secretary Mrs. Kathy Simpkins.

Having being a secretary in the corporate world before she had kids, it was easy for Mrs. Simpkins to transition into the North Penn School district 19 years ago this past January, now officially putting her in her 20th year with North Penn. Becoming more involved with the district once her son began elementary school, she took up the role of homeroom mom, which led to her taking a position as a substitute. After being offered a full time position as secretary by the district, Mrs. Simpkins spent a year and a half and Penndale before she moved to the high school during the 1994-1995 school year.

As a secretary her job mainly consists of keeping track of students. This means signing in those who are late and writing passes for those who are leaving early. She also takes calls from parents and calls parents if a student has been marked absent without an excuse.

While over her 17 years at the high school, the things her job consists of have not changed much, the way the tasks are performed has changed drastically.

“When I first started we were doing attendance; the teachers weren’t entering attendance, and I could not see attendance on the computer. I would have to write everything down on a card,” said Mrs. Simpkins.

However technology has changed all of that. This year she is using a new program that makes it possible for the attendance to be live.

“When I enter something in the computer under attendance and the teacher pulls up their class list they can see if a student went home through the health suite or if they are out for the day if its an excused absence,” says Simpkins.

Normally when technology completely alters someone’s job he or she may be somewhat hostile towards it; however, this is not the case with Simpkins. She thoroughly embraces the labor saving technology and loves the fact that it has made the school a more interconnected community.

While this may surprise most, Mrs. Simpkins does not sleep under her desk. A proud grandmother, she enjoys a plethora of activities outside of school. When she is not behind her desk she can be found cooking, walking, reading, or gardening. Also a proud Philadelphia sports fan Mrs. Simpkins loves going to Phillies games and basketball games.

If you’re ever having a rough day in school, say perhaps a case of the Mondays, try stopping in to E112. Without a doubt you will be greeted by the warm, smiling Mrs. Simpkins and maybe, if you’re lucky, a piece of candy.