Connie Billionis is retiring from USD 234 School District after 42 years.
“I worked as a secretary at Fort Scott Middle School for 13 years,” Billionis said. “I then transferred to the USD 234 Board of Education (office) as Deputy Clerk and Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent for the remainder of my career for a total of 42 years.”
There have been many changes since she started over four decades ago.
“Changes in technology made a huge difference in how I performed my job,” she said. “I started out typing student schedules on an electric typewriter. Attendance was recorded by collecting absentee slips every hour at the middle school and recording the information by marking boxes by hand in large leather books. And now, everything is completed on laptops, using two or more screens. All state reports, documents, board policy, board of education agendas, etc. are accomplished using the internet through multiple programs.”
The best aspect of her job has been co-workers, teachers, and students.
“I have made life-long friendships and memories with lots of laughter and a few tears along the way,” she said. “I loved seeing students grow and change before they moved on to the high school. It was great when teachers would come into the office to share a student’s essay or a student’s success. At the board office, I truly enjoyed keeping track of calendar events, preparing board agendas for monthly and special meetings, and assisting teachers with their professional learning opportunities. It has been an honor to serve the students, faculty, and staff at USD 234.”
As with all of life, there have been challenges.
“One of the biggest challenges has been the changes with each administration,” Billionis said. “I was fortunate to work with eight different superintendents, and each one made a change in the working environment.”
She does have plans for retirement.
“I’m looking forward to spending more time with my husband, Gary. I love to be with my grandkids, and I have a great time outside in the garden,” she said. “Just having an opportunity to relax and enjoy God’s beautiful world will be a blessing. The hardest part of retirement will be missing the day-to-day interaction with my office friends.”
The retirement reception for Billionis is on Monday, July 17, at 4:30 p.m. at the Board of Education office.