There’s a New Face at the Front Desk: Attendance Secretary Ms. Blue, Who Helps With “Much More” Than Attendance


Lukas Werner

Originally, “high school was not at all on my radar” after working at Christ the King, Ms. Alex Blue said. However, “I have been really pleasantly surprised.”

Brooklyn Chillemi, Editor in Chief

Every weekday, attendance secretary Ms. Alex Blue arrives on La Salle’s campus at 7 a.m., joined by administrative assistant Ms. Doreen Fay at 7:30 a.m. to open the doors for La Salle students. 

After checking voicemails, writing early release slips, and entering planned absences for the day, Ms. Blue finishes her first cup of coffee around the time when most students arrive. For anyone who is late, she helps them check in as well.

However, Ms. Blue’s work at La Salle is not limited to attendance — “it’s so much more than that,” she said. During class periods throughout the day, Ms. Blue works on a variety of other projects for the school. 

“I like just finding a problem and figuring out the solution,” she said, especially with computers, which is why one project she is working on right now is helping admissions director Ms. Katie Allen with calculating and entering GPAs for applicants. 

Another project she checks in on weekly is the period products in the women’s restrooms. Ms. Blue created baskets with tampons and pads for women at La Salle after reading a Falconer article by Clare Daudelin.

While also overseeing attendance throughout the school day, she pauses her projects when a student comes in and needs help. For example, recently a student came to Ms. Blue asking for a counselor since they were unable to find one in the office. Ms. Blue was able to find the designated on-call counselor that day and direct the student to them.

Ms. Blue said that she was happy to be able to help. “I want them to feel comfortable to come talk to myself or Ms. Fay.” Ms. Blue appreciates helping with this work because in retrospect she wishes she had reached out to her counselors more in high school.

“I’m just amazed by the counseling staff,” Ms. Blue said. “They all want everyone to succeed and do well.”

Ms. Blue said that the La Salle administration has the same goal. “They’re all really down to earth, and willing to problem solve as much as they can,” Ms. Blue said. “I really appreciate how willing they are to meet with students.”

Ms. Blue said she especially sees this when she is tracking down students who miss a class when they were marked as present in previous classes that day. “We’ve got certain kids we know, you know, might go to the bathroom or go somewhere when they’re feeling overwhelmed,” Ms. Blue said. She works with Ms. Fay and campus health and safety monitor Mr. Mikel Rathman to find these students and connect them with staff who can help. 

This busy schedule of projects, attendance, and helping students mirrors her job at Christ the King, where she worked as the office manager (or the “school mom”) prior to La Salle.

She started at Christ the King near the end of August in 2018, and her job was “all things that came out of the office,” she said. This included opening the school, attendance, enforcing COVID-19 protocols, finding substitute teachers, organizing birthdays and celebrations, tours and admissions, and more.

Because of this experience, when the position opened up at La Salle, she was able to make a quick transition. “I’m kind of right now just helping where I can,” Ms. Blue said. “I’m trying different things out and seeing what I like and kind of going from there.” 

Outside of La Salle, Ms. Blue has dinners with her family every few weeks, including her three siblings and their families, who all live within 25 minutes away from their childhood home, which her parents currently live in. Her bedroom is now the playroom for the children. 

Ms. Blue has two daughters — basketball-loving Sapphira, who is 7 years old, and ballerina Genna, who is 4 years old. She also has a “pandemic puppy” named Penny, as well as a 5-month-old kitten named Bella. 

She also plays volleyball, which she has been a part of since she attended St. Therese for Kindergarten through 8th grade. “My life was volleyball up until I finished high school [at Central Catholic High School],” Ms. Blue said, and then she switched to an adult league. 

She particularly enjoyed the volleyball tournaments that her club team in Beaverton would participate in, which allowed her to travel to places such as Nevada, California, and Washington. “It was a lot of fun,” Ms. Blue said, “and I’m still friends with a lot of the girls I played with, too.” 

Ms. Blue has taken a hiatus from volleyball due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a back injury last year, but in the meantime, she has been kayaking and paddleboarding with her family. “I love the water,” Ms. Blue said. 

In addition to her activities outside of La Salle, Ms. Blue has been studying. She recently started two online certificate programs at the University of South Florida: one being “Ethical and Inclusive Leadership,” and another being “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace.” 

Ms. Blue’s husband is Black, and her children are biracial, “so those kinds of race issues are important to my family,” she said. “I want to make sure that my kids don’t have to have a lot of the struggles that my husband did.”

During her time at La Salle, Ms. Blue hopes to use this knowledge in order to build more community relationships, like those she had at Christ the King. “I had a lot of really good relationships with the families and the kids,” Ms. Blue said. “But a lot of them are going to end up here … The kids that are about to graduate, I’ll see them next year, and it’ll all come full circle.”