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The Student News Site of James Buchanan High School

The Rocket Flame

The Student News Site of James Buchanan High School

The Rocket Flame

The Student News Site of James Buchanan High School

The Rocket Flame

A Day In the Life of Mrs. Amsley

Have you ever wondered who is behind student scheduling, report cards and grades? I was able to follow Angie Amsley (Faculty) the principal’s secretary to find out just what she does in a day.

7:00 a.m. – Amsley is the first person to arrive she opens up the school and welcomes the staff as they roll in. She starts her mornings managing the front office as she checks to see if any of the teachers are going to be out. She then organizes and prepares coverages for the teachers and substitutes. Her daughter Grace Amsley (11) keeps her mother company as she waits for the bus to the Franklin County Career & Technology Center.


Amsley sits at the front office in the morning scheduling coverages for the day.

The day I followed only two teachers were out so coverages weren’t too difficult. John Lum (Faculty) was the first teacher to arrive coming in at a little after 7:00 a.m. and Mr. Rodney Benedick (Faculty) the principal of James Buchanan arrived at 7:20.


8:00 a.m. -Amsley makes her way back to her office and finishes the coverages. She organizes and gives Benedick all the papers he needs to sign, like trip forms and club approvals. Two additional teachers were now off, so it was Amsley’s responsibility to prepare their coverages. Mrs. Suzanne Palmerchuck (Faculty), is the In-Building Substitute, whose job is to be at the high school to cover any positions. If there is no position that needs to be covered she goes to the other schools in the district to help. That day Palmerchuck was covering a class at the Mercersburg Elementary


y and she was needed to cover the library. Amsley spent most of the morning making phone calls to try to see if Palmerchuck was still available for coverage. After some time Amsley decided to close the library since there was no coverage. She was then called into Benedick’s office to discuss the Christmas gifts for the administrative staff.


9:00 a.m. – Amsley checks over timesheets for extra staff such as lifeguards. She makes sure all the time sheets are signed and correct, then sends them to Central Office. She then continues making calls and sending emails to Central Office, teachers, parents and other people in the district, and working on anything Benedick gives her to do. While doing all this, school staff will continually come into her office asking questions and asking her about things they need done.

The day I followed, she also called down a lifeguard that needed to sign their time sheet. Amsley also talked with the other secretaries about how to count the time of tardies and early dismissals. The discussion resulted in Mrs. Mary Cristafano (Faculty) making a cheat sheet for timing absences.



10:00 a.m- 12:00 p.m. – Here Amsley takes care of a variety of things. Some days she might work on preparing a schedule for a new student, help prepare emergency drills, or fix any problems on the school portal. Every event that happens at the school is cleared and approved by Amsley; that includes pool rentals, music concerts, assemblies, etc. She finalizes the events by putting it on the calendar. Amsley knows everything that happens at the school.

Amsley makes copies of coverages to handout.

The day I followed, Amsley continued to work on the Christmas gifts that Benedick wanted. A student comes down asking for help to get onto their portal and Amsley quickly takes care of the problem.


12:45 p.m.- 1:00 p.m. – At this time Amsley goes home for lunch and while she’s there takes care of her two St. Bernards: Copper and Gus.


1:00 p.m. – Amsley continues emailing, calling and answering any questions that staff and students might have. Every day is a little different with different things happening.


The day I followed, Amsley went to help Athletic Director Mr. Larry Strawoet (Faculty) with technology difficulties. When back at her office, Amsley and Benedict determined what the Christmas gifts should look like. Over the hour a few people came asking questions about attendance and looking to talk to Mr. Benedick.


2:00 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. – Since each day is different, Amsley will work on anything that needs to be done. Once the bell rings for the students to leave, Amsley waits until all subs have clocked out and then she is able to pack up and leave for the day. At the beginning of the year, she deals a lot with schedule changes, like when students want drop classes or change lunches. She is also very involved with the food drive, communicating between the school and the families receiving the food. Amsley also prepares the rooms and proctors for all standardized tests in the school like the Keystones and PSATs. She makes sure every guideline is followed and correct. May is the busiest time of the year, with graduation, tests, and final grades all having to be completed.


The day I followed a package arrived with a new receiver for the announcement board at the end of the road. The old one had fallen off in a storm and was ruined by the rain. Amsley called up TechOps to let them know it arrived. She also made a new ID card for a student that lost him and sent the Honor Roll list to the newspaper.


What we learned-  From following the principal’s secretary, Mrs. Amsley, we learned that she knows everything that is happening and is a key component to running this school. She can help answer any problems that might arise, and every day for Amsley is a new day where she never knows what might happen.


The truth of the matter is: nothing in this school happens without the help of Mrs. Amsley, and for that, we are grateful for all her help.

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About the Contributor
Rachel Kimmel
Rachel Kimmel, Staff
Rachel is a senior. This is her first year being part of James Buchanan Media. She is part of the swim team and she plays the violin in the orchestra. She loves to swim and hopes continue in college.
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