More time to sit back and enjoyJoyce Rivinius has been the administrative assistant at Jefferson Elementary School for the last 25 years. She is about to begin a “bitter sweet” retirement.
By: Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
Joyce Rivinius has been the administrative assistant at Jefferson Elementary School for the last 25 years. She is about to begin a “bitter sweet” retirement.
“That’s the only way I can describe this time in my life is it’s bitter sweet,” Rivinius said. “This has been a job where I’ve never really dreaded coming to work, and I don’t know if there are many people who can say that nowadays.”
Becky Meduna, principal at Jefferson Elementary, said while the school will find someone to take her position, Rivinius is an irreplaceable person.
“She keeps saying ‘everybody’s replaceable,’ but how can you replace someone that has 25 years of experience?” Meduna said. “We’ll miss her office skills, but we’re going to also miss her as a person because she’s a genuine, warm, kind person.”
Before becoming the administrative assistant, Rivinius said she worked other secretarial jobs. She said the chance to work with children is what she enjoyed most about her career at Jefferson.
“Children make the day bright in anybody’s life. You can have a bad day and a child can say something and it can brighten your day,” Rivinius said. “It has been rewarding and it’s an ideal job.”
She said the biggest change she has witnessed in her time there is advancing technology. She said children have also been changing.
“I think kids nowadays are more open then what they were before. They are freer to come to the office than 25 years ago. Children were more afraid of the office,” Rivinius said. “Now they realize that we are here to help them.”
Meduna said although it’s not in her job description, Rivinius is also the school nurse.
“She contacts parents when kids are hurt or when they’re sick. She’s there to console them,” Meduna said. “When they come to the office, she’s the one that they come in contact with first.”
Rivinius plans to sit back and enjoy life when she is retired.
“I just want to take some time for myself, my family, and slow down a little bit,” Rivinius said. “This summer we will spend time at the lake (Sakakawea). We enjoy fishing.”
Rivinius also would like to volunteer in the area. She is unsure whether she will end up taking up part-time employment.
“We’ll see how retirement goes. If something would come up part-time, I probably would consider it,” Rivinius said, adding she does not intend to plan much more for now.