A New Face in the Office

SHS Welcomes its Newest Recruit to the Office


photo submitted by cathy gauthier

Gauthier (left) poses in front of Bucky with sisters, Cindy (middle) and Cheri (right) as a sophomore in college in 1991.

There’s more to some things than meets the eye. This is especially true when regarding the work done in the SHS attendance office.
The women in the office work behind-the-scenes to help make the school run smoothly every day. Cathy Gauthier, a quick learner to the skills required, is the newest recruit to the office, Gauthier began working at the school in February. Prior to this she worked as an Educational Assistant (EA) at Fox Prairie for seven years. As she has lived in Stoughton her whole life, excluding attending UW Madison, Gauthier has connections throughout the school district. Now, working in the attendance office, she gets to work with one of her close friends, Patty Nelson, stating the situation as “awesome”. Before working as an EA, Gauthier talks about her work at a bank,
“[I] definitely enjoy [working here] and learning new things. Prior to working for the schools, I worked in a banking-type atmosphere. So, I get to use some of the same computer skills [here] that I used before. Just learning how things work in a school is fun, and I suppose definitely on a different level than elementary school. It’s fun to work with older students,” Gauthier says.
Patty Nelson, Gauthier’s close friend since both of their children—now seniors at SHS—were in preschool, talks about how nice it is to work with her.
“It has been wonderful. [Cathy] jumped in right away [and was] willing to learn. It’s a big task to step in during the middle of the year, but she jumped in with both feet and is ready to go,” Nelson says. Both women state that there is more to the attendance office work than people realize. Sure, the work consists mainly of recording attendance for the students, writing passes, and scheduling observations and meetings for the assistant principals, but the heavy workload of the attendance office is a daily occurrence.
“It’s just so busy in the attendance office—especially during passing time. This is a much busier place than I’ve ever worked before. It’s a lot of multitasking and trying to make sure everybody gets what they need in the timeframe that they need it,” Gauthier says.
As Gauthier and Nelson have known each other for years, Nelson says that it’s really nice to work with her friend and it provides a “certain stability” to the attendance office.
“She’s gotten to experience drama that happens. You know, just normal school drama. We’ve gotten to celebrate kids graduating early, we’ve had kids that come in and needed help and just needed a place to turn. So to do that together and kids coming in wanting to share something—it’s exciting to do these kinds of things. So it’s been fun and just a little bit different,” Nelson says.
The women in the attendance office prove that there is more to the work than the actual work. You build connections, you celebrate students, and you develop friendly relationships, and Gauthier is ready to “jump in with both feet”. “I’ll just keep learning. I still feel like I’ve just gotten my feet wet [at the school]. So [I’ll] definitely keep learning and hopefully get better,” Gauthier says. “I’m just happy to be here and I’ve enjoyed getting to meet all the new people.”