Arrowsmith looks forward to ‘more gramma time’ in retirement

Jill Meier, Journal editor

Debbie Arrowsmith wrapped up a 12-year career with the Brandon Valley School District last week. Arrowsmith was a stay-at-home mom when she applied to help out part-time in the afternoons in the office at Robert Bennis Elementary before transferring to Fred Assam Elementary. 

Submitted photo

Debbie Arrowsmith


Debbie  Arrowsmith is “OK” to “quietly ride off into the sunset.”

The administrative assistant at Fred Assam Elementary wrapped up a dozen years with the Brandon Valley School District last week. Wednesday, April 22 was her final day in this role.

There are six small reasons Arrowsmith took the plunge into retirement: her six grandchildren.

“One of my sons and his wife had a baby down in Omaha. That makes six grandkids for me and they are spread out between Savage, Minn., Omaha and Mt. Vernon,” she shares. “I need more time to go visit!”

Arrowsmith was a stay-at-home mom when she first went in search of a part-time job. She found that at Robert Bennis Elementary, where she worked in the afternoon alongside Terri Whipkey in the office. When the district added FAE to its fleet of elementary schools, Arrowsmith transferred there. Although her part-time job elevated to full-time, Arrowsmith had no regrets with the added hours.

“It’s been a pleasure and honor to work for the best school district in the state,” she said.

Arrowsmith remembers the excitement of opening a new school.

“I so enjoyed opening up a new building and helping to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for students, parents and staff,” she said. “It was like moving into a new house and making it just the way you want it.”

She confesses that she sometimes felt like “gramma” to 545 kids, lending field trip or lunch money, wiping tears and putting band-aids on skinned knees.

“It’s been fun to get to know our families and watch them grow through the years,” she adds.

For Arrowsmith, both the start and end of the school year were busy times in her role.

“I’m not sure I actually ‘looked forward’ to either of those,” she said. “But it was always good to see the staff again after summer break and see how big all the students had grown over the summer.”

It’s her co-workers that Arrowsmith will truly miss.

“I realize how lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard. I will miss the staff and all of their crazy antics, all the food in the breakroom, and the students who have made me laugh,” she concludes.



The Brandon Valley Journal


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