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Kitty Strong takes new position as Building Manager

Kitty+Strong+poses+with+Mario+Pupillo+on+Cardinals+Day.+The+two+have+worked+each+other+for+four+years.+%E2%80%9CKitty+and+I+have+a+very+close+relationship+and+I+know+she+will+bring+great+success+to+her+new+position%2C%E2%80%9D+Pupillo+said.+
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Kitty Strong takes new position as Building Manager

Kitty Strong poses with Mario Pupillo on Cardinals Day. The two have worked each other for four years. “Kitty and I have a very close relationship and I know she will bring great success to her new position,” Pupillo said.

Kitty Strong poses with Mario Pupillo on Cardinals Day. The two have worked each other for four years. “Kitty and I have a very close relationship and I know she will bring great success to her new position,” Pupillo said.

Courtesy of Mario Pupillo

Kitty Strong poses with Mario Pupillo on Cardinals Day. The two have worked each other for four years. “Kitty and I have a very close relationship and I know she will bring great success to her new position,” Pupillo said.

Courtesy of Mario Pupillo

Courtesy of Mario Pupillo

Kitty Strong poses with Mario Pupillo on Cardinals Day. The two have worked each other for four years. “Kitty and I have a very close relationship and I know she will bring great success to her new position,” Pupillo said.

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Former Junior grade level secretary Kitty Strong began a new career as the Building Manager July 1.

A New York native, Strong initially graduated with a degree in Hotel-Restaurant Management and was a restaurant manager at Stevens Institute of Technology. Eventually she moved to Florida where she met her husband who lived in St. Louis.

“[My husband’s] sister lived next door to my brother in Florida, and we met. Next thing you know, he asked me to marry him and I moved here,” Strong said. “When I moved here my son was five and starting kindergarten at Hanna Woods Elementary, in Parkway.”

As her son began school, Strong started a job at a local church.

“I taught four-year-olds at preschool, then that church closed. Then there was a position as lunch recess monitor at Hanna Woods and they asked if I wanted to do it,” Strong said. “One year while I was doing my training for that, I looked at available jobs and up came a job for a Nurse’s Assistant at Parkway West, so I put in for it and I got it, and that’s what initially brought me here.”

After being the Nurse’s Assistant for four years, Strong applied to be a grade level secretary for Assistant Principal Mario Pupillo.

“I think the first thing that stands out about her is that she cares about people, and everything she does is taking care of students, staff members and me,” Pupillo said.

Strong feels that she can form an important relationship with high school kids and enjoys helping them.

“When I was growing up, I didn’t want to listen to my parents, so to me, students are more apt to [talk to] someone at the school who sees you differently or sees something that’s going on,” Strong said.

[Strong] is wonderfully organized, she is a hard worker and she gets along with adults and students.”

— Principal Jeremy Mitchell

While Strong enjoyed building relationships as a secretary, she applied for the job as Building Manager as she found it more ideal for her family.

“Unfortunately, my husband passed away, and I needed a job that was going to provide a little bit more. I have two kids, one just graduated and one is a junior and so they’ll both be going off to college,” Strong said. “I miss being in the office, but it’s only a 10 and a half month job, and the Building Manager job is a 12 month job and I needed something that’s a little more time.”

Additionally, being a Building Manager is similar to what Strong initially got her degree in.

“Being the Building Manager isn’t directly what my degree is in, but managing a building is similar to managing a restaurant,” Strong said. “In the building, if a door is broken you’ll troubleshoot and in a restaurant if somebody doesn’t have their food yet you’d go back and see what’s going on.”

Principal Jeremy Mitchell recognizes Strong’s hardworking qualities that make her an exceptional leader for the building.

“The Building Manager does everything to make sure that the teachers can teach, students can learn and not worry about anything else. It can be a tough job because everybody has wants and you have to be able to prioritize and organize and she’s done a wonderful job,” Mitchell said. “[Strong] is wonderfully organized, she is a hard worker and she gets along with adults and students.”

Mitchell said he has only received one complaint since Strong began her new position.

“The only people who’ve complained about her are those juniors who miss having her in the office,” Mitchell said.

Strong will miss constant contact with her previous students, but said she will find how to do that in different ways.

“I try to tell the kids that I’m still here, you’re just going to find me in a different spot, and hopefully they’ll remember that,” Strong said.

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Susie Seidel, STAFF WRITER

Grade:  11

Years on Staff:  2

If you were a fictional character, who would you be?  Elle Woods

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Kitty Strong takes new position as Building Manager