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Home office away from home

A look at the names and faces of North Penn High School's three Home Offices, each of which help make NPHS a little but smaller,and whole lot more welcoming,

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** Disclaimer: While we tried to get everyone from each Home Office involved in this article, the Home Offices are busy places, and we couldn’t quite catch up with everyone. Apologies to Dr. Nicole Yetter (F 40) and Mrs. Christine McCreary (D103), two dedicated guidance counselors at NPHS who give countless hours of their own to NPHS students. 

TOWAMENCIN- Walking into the Home Offices at North Penn High School is not much different than walking into someone’s living room. Wwith holiday lights sparkling, comforting scents taking the edge off a busy day, and smiles from the people whom you love and trust, home offices certainly fulfill a need at NPHS. Whether students have something troubling them or simply want to stop by and say hello, their Home Office serves as a second home, safe, warm and welcoming.

“I always feel welcomed everytime I walk into the home office. Whenever I need something they always make sure I am helped right away. It is nice to know I have a safe place to go if I am not feeling great or I need someone to talk too,” NPHS senior Brianna Iannuzzi shared.

In recent years the tasks of the Home Offices have become more challenging, by shrinking the number of Home Offices. Three years ago there were five Home Offices and now there are only three. The Home Offices are organized by the last name of the students. The three Home Offices are for Sophmore, Junior, and Senior classes, which has allowed a closer relationship between students and staff at North Penn.

 

D 103 – Sophomores’ Gateway into NPHS

With the holiday seasons just around the corner, nothing can be more comforting than knowing that even in the school, we can still have a place to call home. The sophomore Home Office seems even more peaceful than usual, with the sound of slight chatter and keyboard keys hard at work. D103 serves as the Home Office for sophomores; not only that but also as a support system for students who are still trying to navigate their way through their first year of high school.

Ryan Voron
Mr. Robyn Miller (left) and Mrs. Theresa Arduino (right) welcome students as the D103 Home Office secretaries.

Walking into D103, a student will be greeted by Mrs. Robyn Miller, the secretary, as her desk is closest to the door. Miller, a mother of two college students and a North Penn graduate herself, is the secretary in charge of write-ups and assisting others who need it. Though this may not be her first year working in the Home Office, this is her first year having all sophomores.

Miller has found that working with sophomores and getting to see them grow as students and as individuals is a bittersweet journey.

“We used to make sure that all the diplomas and names were right and that everyone had a cap and gown- now that’s exciting,” reflected Miller.

Miller’s main job, besides assisting the assistant principal and guidance counselors, is write-ups, or detentions, for students who have broken one of the rules.

“Class cutting and cell phone violations, I think those are the main two,” Miller explained when asked about the two most common reasons for students to get written up.

On the other side of the office is another the woman who will greet you with a smile and a helping hand, attendance secretary Mrs.Theresa Arduino.

Recalling her favorite North Penn memory, she said, “We had all the seniors last year, so I really got to know a lot of the seniors and especially working attendance, you get to know a lot of kids.”

Arduino is the attendance secretary in charge of making sure that each student is accounted for, whether absent or present and connecting with parents.

“First thing in the morning when I come in I have to pull messages off the phone, pull up emails from parents,” explained Arduino. The busiest time of the day would be the first thing in the morning as students are coming to school or are calling in for a leave of absence.

The sophomore Home Office has three guidance counselors who are always willing to help and do their part to make sure that students feel comfortable and safe at school: Mr. John Wilson, Mr. Brandon Turner, and Mrs. Christine McCreary.

Ryan Voron
Dr. Sara Rattigan (along with Mr Kyle Hassler) serve as the assistant principals in D103.

Wilson, who joined the North Penn School District 12 years ago, is a guidance counselor for part of the sophomore alphabet. His job is to help guide sophomores through their first year at North Penn High School and simply make their transition from middle school to high school easier.

“It’s a lot of getting used to high school. It’s a lot of getting used to the expectations, getting used to the level of homework, getting used to the level of rigor and that the classes move a lot faster than they did in middle school,” explained Wilson.

Mrs. McCreary, although unavailable for an interview at the time of publication of this article, is also a veteran member of the guidance department, now working hand in hand with the current sophomore class.

 

And the guidance counselor who has most recently started working at the sophomore Home Office is Mr. Brandon Turner.

Although this is Turner’s first full year, he had already worked at the high school last year, but only for half the year.

“In the beginning of the year, changing classes when things are new, and students trying to get adjusted to just a new year, new teachers [is a lot of my focus],” stated Turner.

Turner helps students through the chaos and of the beginning and the end of the year, stating that those are the busiest times of the year.

With sophomores moving onto the next step in their school careers, D103 is most definitely going to be the home that they can always come back to for help and comfort.

 

F 40 – Home to that all important – Junior year

Junior year… one that can be as stressful as it can be exciting. That needed feeling of safe and calm amidst the junior year storm embraces students on their way into F40, the Junior Home Office. There are many roles in the Home Office and each has an important role in a student’s life. One of these jobs is being a secretary for 1,000 students. Mrs. Lorrie Mancino is no stranger to the role of secretary for the junior Home Office F40.

Ryan Voron
Mrs. Lorrie Mancino, Mr. Matt Edwards, and Mrs. Amy Linn are just a few of the faces who greet students in Home Office F40.

“I like the idea of the “Home Office.” With 3000 kids in this school, having this specific place for these students to come to, where they can feel safe and comfortable, I think, that is a great thing,” said Mancino

Graduating from North Penn, then attending Montgomery County Community College, Mancino never saw herself being a secretary.  A stay at home mom is what she originally wanted to do. Although she did get to do that for a couple of years, she found her place back at North Penn being in students lives, where she has now been for the last 22 years.  

Like all of the other jobs in the Home Office, being an assistant principal is also one busy day after another, especially when you are new to the high school like Mr. Matt Edwards. Edwards took on this role after Mr. Pete Nicholson moved on to be the principal of North Penn High School and following Mrs. Jami Behm’s stint as interim assistant principal.

“Before coming here I was an assistant principal for a tech school in Easton; the total amount of students there was only 700, so coming to a school with 1000 students to each grade is very different,” stated Edwards.

Coming from a school of only 700 students, Edwards is adamant on connecting with every student as soon as he can.

 

K 25 – The last leg of the North Penn journey

As a senior, it is difficult to recall the first time walking into K25 sophomore year. But throughout three years, the home office has become a place of consistency and familiar faces for the class of 2019.

Students who take advantage of having such a welcoming and helpful Home Office get to see several people who work so hard, and don’t always get the credit they deserve. A senior Home Office is unlike any other; students already ill with senioritis checking in late, students picking up temporary parking passes, or students just needing someone to speak to about college.

Ryan Voron
Mrs. Linda McGiinn has over 20 years at NPHS and is one of the first people you see when entering Home Office K25.



When entering, on the right is Mrs. Linda McGlinn’s desk, where students stop to check in late or hand in a note to leave early. With three Home Offices in the building and about 1,100 students in the senior class, keeping a head count on every student and their whereabouts is a hefty responsibility.

“The hardest part of the job is the volume of students we deal with. Since the restructuring of the Home Offices, there is a higher number of students that report to this office,” McGlinn explained.

Mrs. McHugh busy at work as always, during a typical day in K25

Before the current 2018-2019 class, there used to be five Home Offices and went by the alphabet, but now there are only three, so that is a very large increase of students to handle. This workload is tough, but Mrs. McGlinn has twenty going on twenty-one years under her belt.

“I started here in 1998 as a substitute teaching assistant, until about 2002 I started working as a secretary,” McGlinn said.

The Home Office has its ups and downs, so just like any restaurant or business, people come in waves, “The morning is definitely the busiest time of the day. Between students coming in late, no school period one, and just attendance in general,” Mrs. McGlinn recalled.

An immediate left after the entrance into K25 will bring a student to Mrs. Susan McHugh, the attendance secretary. While a lot of students know their Home Office and their counselors, our hardworking secretaries are often the glue that holds it all together. Mrs. McHugh, a staff member for thirteen years, started her journey through North Penn High in the library for the first six or seven years.

Even though students see these familiar faces at school, students tend to forget that staff members have normal lives just like everyone else. When they are not keeping an eye on the senior class and guidance counselors, they live very active and full lives.

“When I’m not here at North Penn I’m usually visiting my son who lives in North Carolina, visiting my daughter who lives in New York, playing golf, and going to Bethany Beach in Delaware,” McHugh explained.

While McHugh is traveling to see family, McGlinn spends her time doing what she loves as well.

“I love music very much, and I enjoy going to concerts. I am actually going to see the rolling stones this summer actually. As well as music I like spending time with my grandkids, gardening, going to the beach, and interior decorating,” said McGlinn.

Ryan Voron
The K25 team takes a brief moment from their busy day to smile for the camera.



Although McHugh and McGlinn are working hard, an extra helping hand will not be turned down. That lending hand is given Mr. Kevin Hammer. While he teaches AP European History and U.S. American History, he also delivers detentions and write-ups, serving as the Home Office Assistant.

“I’m kind of like the grim reaper, people see me and hope its not for them,” Hammer joked.

Though he gives out detentions, Hammer is possibly one of the most positive and optimistic people in the high school, which helps ease the pain of receiving a detention.

The home office does much more than handle attendance and detentions; getting guidance from a counselor is always an option for any part of the day. Ms. Judith McGuriman is the guidance counselor for seniors with last name A-G and gives guidance on a daily basis.

“We have had a very large number of seniors coming down here for college questions and assistance. Much more than in past years,” McGuriman recalled.

Senior year is a very stressful year, and guidance is always there to help, but some wonder how guidance counselors help solve these daily issues.

“If I have a list of things I have to do in one day, it never all gets done. When I come into work, I never know how my day is going to go, but that’s what I love about it,” McGuriman said.

McGuriman has a special connection with not only the students and staff but to the school itself, as she is a North Penn High School Alumni. Along with being alumni, she also has two sons who have come and gone through North Penn High as well.

The amount of dedication from North Penn staff is unbelievable and quite admirable. Although every grade has their own struggles and goals, their home offices will always be there to make the journey a bit easier. While there is no place like home, there is also no place like your Home Office.

 

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Home office away from home