Sue Mutschler, assistant secretary at Woodland Elementary School, is the OSEA 2013 Employee of the Year

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: OSEA - Sue Mutschler greets a visitor at the front desk of Woodland Elementary School.

In 1989, Sue Mutschler was excited to start working in the schools so she could be on the same schedule as her kids.

Over the past 24 years with the Reynolds School District, Mutschler has become known as “the go-to gal," a characteristic earning her the Oregon School Employees Association’s 2013 Employee of the Year.

The prestigious honor is bestowed on one educational employee each year after past OSEA presidents review nominations from throughout Oregon (with names and identifying information withheld).

“I was shocked and a little caught off guard,” Mutschler, an assistant secretary at Woodland Elementary School, said with a laugh.

She discovered partway through a school board work session Wednesday, April 24, that many family members, friends and coworkers had come to Margaret Scott Elementary School honor her.

“What stands out about Sue is the combination of her dedication to the union, her work and the people she serves,” said Michael Plett, OSEA communications specialist. “She exemplified the best of being a classified employee and is one of the unsung heros of education.”

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: OSEA - Sue Mutschler fills in as crossing guard, helping students, from left, Austin and Tyler Redford and Graham Arnold cross to Woodland Elementary School.

Receiving the award from OSEA President Tim Stoelb, Mutschler was nominated by Reynolds Chapter 37 President Cindy Dominiak, who was an Employee of the Year honoree in 2011.

In her nominating letter, Dominiak wrote that Mutschler works diligently and conscientiously every day to ensure that students, parents and teachers alike are cared for and have everything they need for a successful school day.

“It’s nice working in a community,” Mutschler said. “Everybody loves everybody, and we’re a good working team.”

June 29, Mutschler will attend the OSEA Conference in Portland, where she will be honored during an awards banquet with a traveling trophy and plaque.

An East County native, Mutschler attended schools in the Reynolds district through eighth grade before a boundary change put her in the Centennial School District.

Outside of work, Mutschler enjoys scrapbooking and spending time with her three children and two grandchildren, all of whom live in the area.

Almost a quarter-century after kicking off her career in the Reynolds School District, Mutschler still relishes the elementary school environment.

“They keep me young and active,” Mutschler said of the kids. “I get to look at the world from their point of view.”

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