marilyn nelson leaves lasting legacy at hills-Beaver creek schools
High school is a flurry of milestone events — getting your driver’s license, taking the ACTs, going to prom — but it is the everyday interactions that can leave the most lasting impressions.
In the mad rush of the daily grind at Hills-Beaver Creek High School, Marilyn Nelson could be found in the midst of it all.
For 25 years Marilyn took on not only the formal roles of business manager and librarian, but also the tasks of food server, counselor, transporter, comedian, and investigator while at the school.
It was in these non-traditional roles that Marilyn fell in love with the students, staff and parents of Hills-Beaver Creek High School.
Business manager interjects humor in mundane daily announcements
Marilyn began working for the Hills-Beaver Creek School District in the fall of 1986 as the school’s business manager.
After receiving the phone call from Supt. LeBoutillier, Marilyn said she felt both excited and nervous to start her new adventure. However, Marilyn was a natural fit and nerves quickly dissolved as she integrated herself into the school.
A part of Marilyn’s daily tasks at school was giving morning announcements. Obviously, with Marilyn’s fun personality, she needed to add a little flair to a task that can become quite mundane.
Marilyn told Laffy Taffy jokes at the beginning of the announcements to add some entertainment. She said these jokes were usually a hit or miss with the students but she felt each day should start out with a little laughter.
Marilyn thoroughly enjoyed her time at H-BC as the business manager as each day was different, which allowed her to wear many different hats and experience many different things with the students and staff.
Librarian become candy sales manager and friendly ear for H-BC students
In 2000 Marilyn moved from business manager to librarian at the school. As the librarian Marilyn had much more interaction with the students, which led to much laughter and many stories (some that can be shared and some that cannot).
Each morning the library would open at 7:30 a.m. when a few students would gather to talk with Marilyn about anything that was on their minds — events that happened the previous night, or the excitement and challenges the students were going to face that day at school.
Another task Marilyn took on while she worked as librarian was sales. “The Candy Shop” formed in the library to help raise money for new books. With the library budget being tight, Marilyn sold candy bars and other treats to students to fund the needs of the library and to continue to get new literature the students would enjoy.
It is these simple interactions with the students that Marilyn enjoyed the most. Early morning conversation, candy bar sales, study halls, detention, and countless other uses, the library was the main hub for students to gather with Marilyn at the helm.
This allowed numerous interactions with students that soon developed into relationships and memories Marilyn truly cherishes.
Senior prank backfires
One of Marilyn’s favorite stories to share is the prank the staff pulled on the senior class of 1990.
The seniors were leaving for their class trip and decided to park in the staff parking spaces. Thinking they had outsmarted the staff by leaving their cars in parking places that belonged to the staff and leaving town, the students went to enjoy their class trip.
However, Principal Spath had a clever idea of his own. Each car that was parked in the staff parking lot was towed and strategically placed throughout the town of Hills.
Upon the senior class return, one can imagine how upset the students were when their cars were nowhere to be found.
The best part of this story, Marilyn said, is the innovativeness of the junior class. The junior class sold “maps to the cars” to the seniors for a small price.
Thousands of stories, precious memories
This is just one of thousands of stories Marilyn has from her experience at Hills-Beaver Creek.
Stories of laughter and gratitude, heartache and compassion, happiness and joy each filled the halls of Hills-Beaver Creek High school during Marilyn’s tenure.
Because of these experiences and Marilyn’s involvement at Hills-Beaver Creek school, she feels the students and staff there became an extended family to her.
From graduations to weddings, and now students having children of their own in the school district, Marilyn has been there for it all.
Only a few years ago Marilyn decided to retire, but she remains active with the students in different roles outside of school and is still a passionate supporter of the Hills, Beaver Creek and Steen communities.
Marilyn’s impact and memories made with students and staff while at Hills-Beaver Creek as well as the community as a whole will not soon be forgotten.