North Freedom Elementary administrative assistant named first Mentor of the Year

December 25, 2018

NORTH FREEDOM — Vickie Albrecht entered the school assembly Friday morning unaware she was about to be named North Freedom elementary’s first Mentor of the Year. Then she saw her son sitting in the auditorium.

“I thought, ‘What’s going on?’” the school administrative assistant said after the ceremony. “I had no idea.”

The award originally was the idea of North Freedom Village Board President Rick Hehenberger, who said village leaders wanted to do more to support the school. They decided to start an annual mentor of the year award so all school staff would be eligible.

Principal Kathy Andreasen said a parent group helped choose the recipient by looking for someone who does everything at the school, is helpful to students and staff and is active in the community. Several names came up, but Albrecht’s was “very prominent,” Andreasen said.

“She is not a teacher, yet she has a special bond with every student at this school. She’s not the principal, but she can take charge in most situations. She’s not an educational assistant, yet everyone looks to her for help. She does not drive the bus, yet she knows which bus every child takes to and from school … Who do you think we’re talking about?” Andreasen asked the assembled students.

More than 100 children responded in unison, calling Albrecht’s name.

“(I felt) just very proud and happy, surprised,” Albrecht said. “It was really very nice.”

She has worked in the Baraboo School District for 22 years, 12 of which were at North Freedom Elementary. As an administrative assistant, Albrecht does “a little bit of everything,” including nursing, taking care of students and working with the village board, she said.

Hehenberger presented Albrecht with an award and a plaque. Future recipients will have their names etched into the plaque, which will be displayed in the village hall.

“I would like to thank the staff,” he said. “You’re all winners. You do such a great job.”

After Hehenberger and Andreasen spoke, several students came to the front of the auditorium to thank Albrecht for providing them with help, support and ice packs.

“She is such an asset to this building,” Andreasen said. “The parents know her, you know, she’s always smiling. The kiddos will come in, she’s warm, she’s kind. Everybody just loves her. And she’s so efficient. She runs this building very, very well.”

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