As Dodge Elementary secretary, Rhonda Archer takes pride in building a trusting relationship with students. She helps with homework and provides a different perspective on a situation students may be facing.
When teachers were looking for new ways to reinforce positive behavior, Archer stepped in to help. Each week she makes a surprise visit to a classroom to reward students with good behavior. Students can pick from a box of fun items including candies and small trinkets. Archer's surprise visits left many students hoping she would visit their classroom.
"It keeps them on their toes and is another incentive for them to continue good behaviors,” said Archer. “It’s a fun opportunity to highlight their good behavior in a simple way.”
From St. Joseph, Mo., Archer worked in the banking industry for 18 years. She and her husband moved their three daughters to Omaha when his job relocated them. The assistant principal at her daughters’ school encouraged her to apply for a paraprofessional position at Omaha Public Schools.
Fifteen years ago, she started at Standing Bear Elementary as a paraprofessional in the preschool class. She then transitioned to kindergarten. Archer loved her interactions with the students and the bond they created. A special moment for her came last year when she celebrated the high school graduation of six of those students.
After several years as a paraprofessional, Archer decided she wanted a change and applied for the secretary position at Dodge Elementary. She finds great joy in interacting with the parents and staff. Being a friendly face, a resource to them but ultimately, it’s her love for the kids that brings her the most joy.
“I have loved every role in Omaha Public Schools,” said Archer. “My goal is to help kids be positive and feel safe at school.”