Mrs. Michelle Darde solving the North Penn puzzle


Olivia Hannigan

Mrs. Darde has proudly been a part of the North Penn community for many years.

With a school of over 3,000 people, making things run smoothly is no easy task. With all the scheduling changes and alterations done over the course of the school year, someone needs to be behind it all. Someone who will give their time to making everyone’s schedules fit exactly to what they want it to be, all three-thousand plus. 

This someone is Michelle Darde, a secretary here at North Penn High School.

“I do all of the scheduling, during the summer I set up the master schedule. We set up the teacher schedules and the kids schedules are built around that. We do scheduling during the summer and the changes all year long. We do the kids who can’t do PE because of medical leave, things like that. I pull all of the data from the schools. If any of the teachers or administrators need reports or data run I do all of that too,” Darde explained. 

Endless magnets line the whiteboards of her office, color-coded by grade and free times. Each wall has a whiteboard, and each whiteboard is packed with huge schedules and notes scribbled on the small magnets.

It’s very detailed but I love it. It’s my thing. You have to like puzzles!

— Mrs. Michelle Darde

“It’s very detailed but I love it. It’s my thing. You have to like puzzles,” she laughed. 

Most students, especially seniors, have trouble thinking of doing anything else as a career than what they’ve chosen, and hinder their own abilities because of that fierce loyalty towards a specific career. Darde attended North Montco Technical Career center during her time in high school, and became a manager for two salons. Her goal had been to open a chain of salons for special needs kids, seeing how they don’t have many good places to go to. That changed, however, when the arches in her feet collapsed and she had to get a desk job. 

“I went to North Penn water authority and I started in an accounting position there, very entry level, worked in the same room as a programmer. She knew how to code but wasn’t logical so I was to explain to her what she needed to do and she would write it, so when she left I taught myself how to program so I could write things,” Darde explains.  “I didn’t go to school for it until I started taking advanced classes.” 

Having graduated from North Penn in 1985, Darde explained how easy it was for her to get readjusted to her new job. “It was easy because I already knew the building, that’s half the battle,” Darde explains. “I’ve been here for almost eight years. I was in Penndale for 3 and a half years and then I went back into the corporate world. I’ve been a programmer for 30 years, which is why this all comes naturally to me. I came back to the high school after that.”

“I still hairdress for my family, my kids, my sister, Mrs. Leach who is Mr. Nicholson’s secretary. When my husband passed away, I was kind of left spinning. Like, what do I do now? So, I like to make greeting cards. I used to scrapbook and now I like greeting cards. It’s a good outlet for me, artistically, to sit down with paper and some things and make some cards.” She also loves to spend time with her daughters and her two dogs at home. Along with that, she also takes care of her disabled niece after school three days a week. 

The part of my job I love the most is helping people.

— Mrs. Michelle Darde


“The part of my job I love the most is helping people,” Darde elaborated. “I’m most proud of teaching people how to do things without me.”