Beloved administrative assistant leaving WDC after 21 years
Muriel Neu has lost track of the plethora of passes she’s issued over the years. And she’s heard some pretty creative excuses for being late for school. She’s watched hundreds of teenagers eventually graduate from WDC High School. And as she looks back on her 21 years at WDC, what she will miss most is not at all surprising.
“The kids,” says Neu, adding, “And mothering them,” she says with a laugh.
Her career at WDC began nearly 21 years ago when she began subbing as a paraprofessional and filling in at the high school office. About three years later, she was hired full time as a Title 1 paraprofessional in junior high math and English. WDC Junior High English teacher Jay Patterson remembers Muriel helping his students “with that sincere mother’s heart of hers.”
“Her presence elevated everything I was hoping could happen in a classroom,” recalls Patterson. “I can’t tell you how disappointed I was when she was ‘demoted’ to administrative assistant and she left working with students in an academic way. I understand why they grabbed her and placed her there. She is just too dependable not to be noticed.”
Muriel will officially resign her position as administrative assistant today (Sept. 26). But lucky for us, she won’t be a stranger. Well, not until that first snowflake flies will we see the last of Muriel until spring. Her husband of 36 years, Gary, is retiring from Russ Davis Wholesale after 23 years. He needed his golfing partner – Muriel – to join him in Arizona, where they spend the winter months.
“We love to golf, enjoy the warm weather, and be with family and friends,” said Muriel. During the summer, they make their home on Little McDonald Lake, where Muriel enjoys yard work, her flowers, and “long, lazy boat rides,” she adds with dreamy smile. Muriel is very talented when it comes to quilting and knitting too.
When asked what was a favorite time or moment at WDC, she said her favorite was the two years (2010 to 2012) she spent at Deer Creek School.
“I loved it! I know it was a bad situation with the tornado, but I loved being out there with just the seventh and eighth graders. It was a special time with those students.”
WDC junior Rylie Langer says Muriel has always had a special place in her heart.
“She’s a good role model. She’s been like a second mom to me. I will miss seeing her say hey to me every morning,” said Langer, who was part of a group of students housed in Deer Creek, who would give Muriel a sticky note with a positive message every day.
“It was our way of bringing a little sunshine back to Muriel,” Langer said.
Muriel has followed sports teams, music events, theater and other school activities over the years at WDC. Her three sons, Christopher, Tyler and Derek, all attended Wadena-Deer Creek.
WDC Grades 5-12 Principal Tyler Church said WDC has been very fortunate to have the services of Muriel for so long.
“She has been an unbelievable asset to our district with the way she handles students and the day-to-day operations in the office. She will be difficult to replace and greatly missed,” said Church.
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WE WISH YOU ALL THE BEST, MURIEL!
Thanks for the memories!