New Receptionist Excited to Be at NDA

New Receptionist Excited to Be at NDA

Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Many would argue that receptionists are the faces of Notre Dame Academy. Anyone entering or leaving the building will typically converse with at least one of them, and over the years individual students build a relationship with the women they see every single day.

The newest face of the academy is Door County native Shelly Cowans.

Cowans is not unfamiliar with Catholic schools as she was previously employed at both a Catholic high school and middle school.

“Working at Aquinas High School was my favorite job, and when the opening came here, I thought I might as well apply for it and see what happens,” Cowans shared.

Her most recent job was at St. Norbert College working in financial aid.  Before that Cowans worked for the president of the Coulee Catholic Schools in La Crosse.

Cowans heard about the job opening from the website “We Can,” which is designed to help schools announce job openings from all over Wisconsin, including public and private schools.

Cowans is thankful she applied and looks forward to coming to NDA everyday.

“I love it. I love the atmosphere. I had forgotten how much I liked working in a Catholic high school and the very first day it all came back.”

“With SNC being my last job for 12 years, we stayed in our little area, whereas here we can get out and mingle a little more.  Everybody’s been wonderful,” she said.

There are some differences between NDA and her previous jobs.

“[NDA] is probably almost twice the size of Aquinas and La Crosse. It pulls from a bigger area because La Crosse is a smaller city.”

She does, on the other hand, recognize many similarities between the two Catholic schools.

“The kids are all polite and friendly and everyone has been very welcoming and willing to help me if I’m lost in a hallway.”

The first few days on a new job are never easy, and Cowans has had her fair share of mishaps.

“I was delivering stuff to classrooms with Mrs. Clement, and I had gotten to one classroom and for whatever reason I tried pulling the door open instead of pushing it. It slammed really loudly and then it locked. A student had to come and let me in,” she confessed. “I’m sure I was probably 50 shades of red! Thank goodness they were watching a movie so the lights were off.”

Expect to see Cowans around the school for a little while, as she plans on this job being her last one before retirement. “ I’m hoping to stay here until that happens,” she said.