If you want to experience the heart and soul of a school building, you need to go into the office and see the school secretary.
Debbie Bair has been the secretary at Liberty Bell Junior-Senior High School since 2000, and she has performed one of the busiest jobs in the valley with grace and joy.
All the positive energy Bair has been bringing to her work was acknowledged last month, when the Winthrop Kiwanis gave her an Everyday Hero Award.
Bair said the award came as a surprise and almost as a shock; she’s not sure she remembers anything that was said about her when she was called up to receive the award, on Sept. 18 at the Kiwanis Appreciation Dinner.
Now, Bair says she is “very honored and grateful” to have been chosen.
Roy Reiber, the Kiwanis Club adviser who works closely with the high school, said Bair embodied the notion of an everyday hero, helping the Kiwanis Club “in a million different ways.”
“If we need something, she’s the one we talk to,” Reiber said.
Bair has worked with the Kiwanis on a raffle fundraiser for the annual junior class trip to Washington, D.C. When Kiwanians are looking for information on scholarship candidates, they turn to Bair.
“She’s always cheerful. She always helps out, and we thought it was about time we recognized her for what she does for us and for kids,” Reiber said.
Crosby Carpenter, the Liberty Bell principal, is new on the role this year but has been quick to recognize Bair’s positive contributions.
“Debbie always welcomes every student, staff member, and a guest into our building with a smile on her face,” Carpenter said. “She’s a Liberty Bell institution who is happy to share her experiences and the history of our community and schools. Her pride in our schools and valley are second to none.”
Bair said Liberty Bell secretary is “the perfect job” for her.
“I enjoy the kids. This is a wonderful place to work,” Bair said. “It’s a thriving place to nurture kids and adults. The adults get as many great perks from coming to school as the kids do. … We’re always growing and moving up.”
Winthrop Kiwanis strives to improve the lives of children locally and globally. The organization works closely with the Methow Valley schools, through the Key Club — a high school Kiwanis organization advised by Rebecca Lundquist — and the junior high Builders Club, advised by Gloria Herron.