Mission Keeper: Evie Wilson

Posted by David Brown - 04 May, 2018

CASE NAIS 746 After more than 30 years serving as a mainstay of Randolph School in a variety of positions and always as an exemplar of its values, Evie Wilson is retiring at the end of the 2017-18 school year. Her contributions to the School are impossible to calculate. A reception in her honor is being held on Sunday, May 6, at 2:00 in the Upper School Library, with a special presentation at 2:30.

Her initial connection to Randolph was as a parent. As she enrolled her daughter, Sarah, in Kindergarten in 1985, she immediately started doing “what great independent school parents do,” she says. “I started volunteering.” After a year, the then Head of Upper School Rick Keyser asked her to join his office staff as his secretary. “There was no better introduction to working with children than in supporting Rick,” she says. “He was an example of selfless service.” She remained in administrative support roles for the Upper School, the Athletic Director, the Dean of Students, in the College Counseling Office, and as Registrar at various points for the next 14 years.

In 2001, she caught the attention of then Head of School Eddie Krenson, who asked if she would consider supporting wider school efforts. “Eddie was a strong, caring leader,” she says, “who appreciated the potential in every person and encouraged us all to look for that ‘masterpiece within.’ I was privileged to serve as his assistant and to support the work of our board of trustees.”

“I started volunteering.”

In 2007, she impressed yet another newly-arrived head of school, Byron Hulsey, while she served as his administrative assistant. She says that Hulsey “began guiding Randolph to a new level of responsibility to the children under our care and to the wider community. With an increased emphasis placed on recruitment, I was asked to move across the hall and join the Admissions Office.” She has worked in that office for the past nine years, currently serving as Admissions Process Manager, with all of the managing of data files and paperwork that entails.

“Evie is very often the first person our prospective families meet, either on the phone or in person,” says Director of Admissions Glynn Below. “Her sincerely caring concern for the students and families who come through our office is so clear and inspiring. She has contributed to the School for nearly half of its existence, and therefore is in a nearly unique position to share the Randolph story with them. To many, she is a veritable symbol of the values we hold dear.” Director of Institutional Advancement Adam Bernick adds: “Evie cares for data like a banker cares for money.”

“Evie cares for data like a banker cares for money.”

Last year, before Evie made her decision to retire, Bernick, unbeknownst to her, nominated her for the Support Staff Distinguished Service Award, one of the annual Independent School Awards given by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), recognizing “a support staff member for providing long-term service to a school’s advancement team.” Evie won it, and addressed the CASE-NAIS convention this past January in California, after a video documenting her extraordinary career at Randolph was shown.

“It’s hard to comprehend,” she told the audience, “how a decision I made so many years ago about where my children should attend school would continue to have such a profound and long-lasting impact on my life. I had just been looking for the best education for them, but along the way, I absolutely found so much more. We all love children and want to help them reach their potential. For those of us in advancement, our goal is to provide the best possible experience for students and their families, from their first step on campus to the lifelong relationships with our school.

“I think it’s the best place to make a difference in the lives of children.”

“Every position I have held at Randolph has been challenging and rewarding, fast-paced and educational, but I’ve enjoyed my work in admissions the most, because I work with families seeking the special experience of an independent school education, just as I did three decades ago. If I were to work another 30 years, I would still choose to work in education. I think it’s the best place to make a difference in the lives of children.”

You often hear it said that no one is irreplaceable, but many members of the Randolph community, past and present, would say that Evie Wilson is a sterling exception to that rule. We are deeply grateful for all that she has done to make the School what it is today.

 

Topics: student support, tradition, Student-centered, nurture, Gratitude, People, professional growth, education, School Culture, Admissions


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