While it is normal for students to move in and out of the high school, it is a significant moment when teachers decide to take the next step in their lives. Two teachers, Anne Helkey and Jared Long, have made the pivotal decision to leave Lebanon High School in the coming months, however with the time they spent here, it is safe to say that they have made their mark and left a lasting imprint on the students and faculty of LHS.
Lebanon High School’s Administrative Assistant Anne Helkey has recently announced that she will be leaving LCSC. In December, Helkey received a Bachelor’s Degree in human services from Grace College, and she would like to further develop her involvement in that area of her career. Helkey has decided to take the position of Family Case Manager at the Department of Child Services.
“I want to use the degree in a more impactful way – not that I do not think I make an impact here – but I wanted to have more direct interaction where I can case manage, basically,” Helkey said.
Helkey wants to assure students that she will still be seen around the school, as she will continue being the sponsor for Student Ambassadors.
Helkey previously had an Associates degree in Paralegal studies from Harrison College, and began her time in LCSC at Stokes and Central elementary. She started working at Lebanon High School around four years ago, and has since fallen in love with her job in the Guidance Office.
Although she will miss being so involved with the students at LHS, she is eager to begin a new chapter of her life, and follow through with her dream career that can further help the students and families in her community.
“I will miss getting to interact with the students every day. I love being here, and leaving was a very hard decision for me to make, but if I ever wanted to become a Case Manager, I decided that I just had to go out and do it. I will miss being helpful to all of the kids that come into Student Services, and I hope that at least I can get my dose of LHS by still being the Ambassador sponsor,” Helkey said.
She also expressed a love for her coworkers, who she has become very close with.
“The Administration Office up here, we are like a little family. I know that sounds very cliché and cutesy, but I will miss getting to have my family at work with me every day, I will probably have to keep coming in and wean myself off gradually. Even though I am not going to be here, I am confident that I will stay in touch with everyone,” Helkey said.
Helkey wants to be someone that families in the community consider a friendly face in order to make difficult situations easier.
“I still want to serve LHS Students and I still want to serve Boone County, I will just be doing it outside of the building as opposed to inside,” Helkey said.
Helkey mentioned that her favorite memory in the ten years of her working in the corporation was her first year at LHS, when she encouraged a child to complete a scholarship application.
“If I can be proud of myself for doing anything, it would be that I helped somebody that did not think they could do something apply for something that would help them in the future. This kid was thinking that he would probably never go to college or be in the running for a scholarship. It is important for all students to know that they are capable of success, and success looks different for everyone. I want students to know that we, as adults in the school, are here to help students find their own success,” Helkey said.
Among the concerns about the organization of 2020’s Graduation Ceremony, which Helkey has been in charge of planning, Helkey wants to assure students and staff that the ceremony will go on as smoothly as usual, as all of the diplomas are in and things seem to be going as planned so far. Helkey mentioned that the majority of the planning for Graduation has already been completed, and she will be double and triple-checking the diplomas to make sure the information is correct. She also mentioned that she will be present for Honors Night before she leaves, presenting for the Ambassadors.
“As much as possible will be done before I leave,” said Helkey.
Helkey wants to advise students that she has enjoyed working with High School Students since she began her position as LHS Administrative Assistant four years ago, despite her being nervous at first.
“The thing that I have learned the most—and I have learned a lot of things here—is to be quiet and to listen. Sometimes the listening to somebody is just as important or even more important than trying to talk to them. It is often that there is not a lot that we can do to change what is going on in a student’s life. The best thing you can do sometimes is just be there to listen to them. There are times we can make an impact or change something, but most of the time, people just want to be heard. So learning to shut up, to not talk and try to solve everything and realize that sometimes the only thing that you can do is let people know they are not alone,”
Helkey wants students and staff at Lebanon High School that she will miss everyone, and that she will always be happy to greet anybody that sees her out in the community.
Special Needs Teacher Jared Long has also decided to take a step into the next chapter of his life. Along with a wedding in May, Long is also hoping to start a family soon and has recently gotten a house in Indianapolis.
In order to better support his family, Long has decided to take a position as a retail manager for Belle Tire.
“[Leaving] was probably one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make,” Long said.
Long believes that the most worthwhile thing he found at LHS was the people that he got to be around.
“I have built such a family here and have gotten so involved in the community that it is going to be very difficult leaving the kids. I have made lifelong friends with the staff and even students that have graduated that I will really, really miss,” Long said.
Among his favorite memories were those he made with those that he spent the most time with, which allowed him to form a close bond with his students.
“When it was me and my group of boys in the Special Needs room, we made a lot of really good lifelong memories. I will also miss when, during my first year, the football team played Roncalli. That is probably the best football game I have ever watched in person,” said Long.
Long said that he would miss seeing the hardworking students at LHS take steps towards a bright future.
“I think that above all, I will miss seeing students at Lebanon do such great things for the world,” Long said.
Above all, with years of working with students, Long has realized that taking your time always pays off in the end.
“I have learned a great deal of patience, I was not a very patient person when I started working here. Now that I have decided to give this career a shot, I am probably one of the most patient people I know,” Long said.
With all of the things that both Jared Long and Anne Helkey hope to accomplish, it is important that they know that they will always be appreciated by the students and faculty Lebanon High School, and the contributions they have made will never be forgotten.