A beloved receptionist who has been working at the Waco Independent School district for 23 years is retiring.
Olga Reyes said she started her tenure at an alternative school, taking attendance and providing classroom support. One of her tasks, included helping translate for some students who had recently moved to Waco from Mexico. The 69-year-old recalls being transferred to the student management department located in the administration building nine years later.
In 2012, she became the front desk receptionist, which has allowed her to interact with visitors and school employees on a daily basis. However, she said every role has fulfilled her.
"I cannot say my favorite because I've enjoyed very much, everything that I've done,” Reyes said.
Helping Spanish-speaking families navigate the school system was one of her proudest achievements.
"Translating for parents, it's one thing that I have really enjoyed. I’m going to miss that,” Reyes said.
She will be missed by many of her co-workers, including Director of Fine Arts Larry Carpenter.
"It's always easy to come to her for a smile. She's a true and genuine person and having her as that first face for Waco ISD when anyone walks in the door is going to be missed,” Carpenter said.
Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcus Nelson who first met Reyes when he started working in the district last year said he has always had very positive interactions with her.
“I will never forget the first day that I met [her]. I was walking into the Central Office. She greeted me at the front door. I will never forget her warm embrace as she shook my hand and looked me in my eyes and said ‘Dios lo Bendiga,’” Nelson said. “That struck my soul. I remember people saying ‘God bless you’ in Spanish time and time again. It took me back to a very special place in the past eight years.”
Nelson said Reyes tells him that every time she sees him.
“We just hate to see her go but we wish her well in her future endeavors. She has been a tremendous asset here in WISD,” Dr. Nelson said.
The mother of two said she will miss her co-workers.
"Waco ISD is like my second family and I know it's going to be really hard not be here every morning but it's time,” Reyes said. “They will always have a special place in my heart.”
Reyes plans to volunteer for Meals on Wheels and possibly travel to Jerusalem. In addition, she said the extra time will allow her to visit family members more often.
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