Administrative Professionals Week has been celebrated in many ways throughout the country during the last few week. In Centerville the annual Respite Care Secretary’s Day/Administrative Professional’s Day luncheon is a large part of the local recognition of administrative professionals and other office personnel.
Although the name of the job may have changed from secretary, and some of the technology involved may have changed over the years, professional and skilled assistants are still needed in most business offices today. Just like in years past though, administrative professionals can still study to become certified which can give them advantages in hiring and automatic pay raises among other perks.
One local resident who went through the process of becoming certified in 1979 is Lillian Aldrich. Aldrich spent many years of her career teaching others the skills needed to enter the business world. Her first job was teaching various business courses back at the school she had recently left, Timberlake High School, in South Dakota.
“It was neat,” said Lillian. “I wasn’t much older than my students.”
She taught classes such as typing, shorthand and general business among others and although she only taught there for two to three years, she did leave an impression on her students. Her husband, Eugene Aldrich, said that when the couple returned to South Dakota for Lillian’s 50th class reunion, former students immediately greeted her and visited with her throughout the trip.
“The first person we met at the airport was one of her ex-students,” said Eugene. “She had a great time for her 50th class reunion.”
Eventually Lillian would finish her Master’s Degree at the University of South Dakota, where she also received her Bachelor’s Degree but she hadn’t completed that much schooling while teaching at Timberlake. Sometime after leaving her teaching position at Timberlake High School, Lillian decided to get certified to teach in vocational programs. She got her certification from the University of Northern Iowa which led to her teaching at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, where she again taught courses to those entering the secretarial world.