Spotlight on Mrs. Potter, Administrative Secretary

The friendly face students first see when they go to guidance


James Mulkern

Mrs. Paula Potter, Guidance Secretary at Abington High, sitting in her office in the guidance wing on Monday, December 9, 2019.

James Mulkern, Staff Writer

The staff of Abington High give off the feeling that they love their respective jobs. Working in a large, high-budget public school must be very appealing. In fact, some employees find it so appealing that they have been committed to the well-being of students for decades.

Mrs. Paula Potter is the administrative secretary of the high school’s Guidance Department. She is a familiar face to many students; anyone who wishes to speak with their counselor consults Mrs. Potter before doing so.

She has such a warm and welcoming personality, which helps put the students at ease.

— Mrs. Park commenting on Mrs. Potter

Being both the receptionist and administrative secretary requires a lot. Mrs. Potter enters data, transfers calls, processes and files documents, responds to and schedules students, and works with teachers and staff so that the operations of the guidance office run smoothly.

In a series of different jobs within the Abington Public Schools, Mrs. Potter has been working in the district for 44 years. But she has actually been in Abington schools longer than that because she was a student here.

Mrs. Potter graduated from the original Abington High in 1973. Before graduating, she worked part-time in the superintendent’s office. She started working as a receptionist in 1973 for three years before transferring to personnel security. Throughout her career, Potter has worked under five different superintendents.

Much like her co-workers in the guidance office, Mrs. Potter loves seeing and helping students. “It is more exciting than seeing my superintendent,” she joked.

Christina Park, one of the guidance counselors, said, “Mrs. Potter is usually the first person students see when they come into the Guidance Suite. She has such a warm and welcoming personality, which helps put the students at ease. She always has a smile on her face.”

Mrs. Potter has fond memories of working in the old high school. She said, “I miss the old school. It went through a lot of changes with the replacement.” She said that she has had to adapt to the sophistication of the new building. “Everything is more computerized,” Mrs. Potter said.

The new schedule has also given her more difficult tasks. “Bridge Block is the most time-consuming part of the day. You have to know who’s going where at what day of the week,” she said. Even with these drastic changes, she remains committed and sticks with her job.

In addition to working with thousands of students over the years at Abington High, Mrs. Potter has a large household. She raised three children with her husband and owns a parakeet, two dogs, and two cats.

Mrs. Potter has such a strong connection to Abington High and its community. The next time you find yourself in the guidance office, know that she is willing to help and more than capable of doing so.