Selfless support

Mrs. Shepherd brightens FHC despite endless work


Elissa Staten

Mrs. Shepherd deals with her daily duties at the front desk in the school. She handles many responsibilities and also brightens the atmosphere at FHC.

Endless phone calls. Constant interruptions. A countless number of guests entering and leaving the building. These are just some of the things that FHC attendance administrator, Mary Shepherd, goes through on a daily basis. After being in the Francis Howell School District for more than 24 years, Mrs. Shepherd has mastered dealing with the stress that comes along with her job. Despite the daily stress, Mrs. Shepherd never fails to keep a smile on her face towards every student and staff member in the building.

“I want to have a happy vibe when welcoming our students, staff, and guests each and every morning.” Mrs. Shepherd said.

No matter how stressed she is throughout the day, Mrs. Shepherd always puts the needs of other people before her own knowing that the work she has to get done is increasing by the minute.

“I have to make sure I’m meeting every student’s needs while trying to get my work done which causes a lot of stress on me throughout the day,” Mrs. Shepherd said. “I will always try to put the student’s and staff’s needs before mine.”

Many students make visiting Mrs. Shepherd a priority throughout the day because she can make someone’s day with her down to earth and happy attitude.

FHC alumni, Emma Wolf, was lucky enough to get to know Mrs. Shepherd very well throughout her years of high school.

“Her smile and her attitude towards everyone can make anyone’s day,” Wolf said. “She is always smiling and asks how your day is going no matter what she is doing at that moment.”

In spite of the fact that she has so much work to get done, Mrs. Shepherd makes sure she goes out of her way to make a student feel special and get to know them. Many students look forward to seeing her when they walk through the halls everyday. It’s her positive vibes that radiate through the hallways of FHC and many students are impacted by her effort to reach out and get to know them.

“Just by telling a student they look pretty or handsome can make their day ten times better,” Mrs. Shepherd said. “Every student here deserves to feel appreciated and if I can make that happen then that is what I am going to do.”

Even if it’s just a small encounter, Mrs. Shepherd always knows how to make a student’s day better.

On Halloween, junior, Audrey Vendetti signed out in the office where she informed Mrs. Shepherd that it was her birthday.

“I was signing out and we were talking about Halloween and when I told her it was my birthday she instantly smiled, told me Happy Birthday, and gave me candy,” Vendetti said. “It was one of the many highlights of my day because she took time out of her busy schedule to wish me a happy birthday.”

There are many things that help get Mrs. Shepherd through the day including each and every student and staff member. Seeing the same familiar faces everyday enlightens Mrs. Shepherd and gets her mind off of how much work she has to get done.

“I love seeing the same students sometimes everyday and just listening to their stories and walking their journey with them through their high school years,” Mrs. Shepherd said. “It really does impact my life and I just care about each and every student so much.”

I love seeing the same students sometimes everyday and just listening to their stories and walking their journey with them through their high school years.”

— Mrs. Shepherd

Mrs. Shepherd is one of the hardest working staff members at FHC and many people tend to overlook everything she does for this school. She cares tremendously about every person and always takes time out of her busy work schedule to show it. Many people look up to her as a person and enjoy seeing her friendly face everyday.

“Mrs. Shepherd has been part of the reason I looked forward to coming to school everyday,” Wolf said. “She makes such a stressful environment more fun and happy.”

Unaware of the fact that she has such an impact on the students here, Mrs. Shepherd continues to go through every school day with a smile on her face.

“It really does warm my heart knowing that students think I have an impact on them here at school,” Mrs. Shepherd said. “I know there’s a lot of peer pressure, family issues, and many other things going on in everyone’s lives and if I can make somebody’s day a little brighter that makes me happy.”

Mrs. Shepherd loves her job, despite the stress and endless workload, because of the students enthusiasm and getting to know some students on a deeper level. She will always radiate her positive and happy vibes through the hallways of FHC.

“The students and staff are the main reason I want to come to work everyday,” Mrs. Shepherd said. “When I am not here I miss it. I love being apart of the FHC family.”