First Year in the Faculty Flock: Ms. Beck Settles In


Ashley Hawkins

Ms. Beck facilitates student attendance at La Salle, assisting students in the correct processes for absences, early dismissals, and late arrivals.

Maya Raphael, Editor

Attendance Officer Ms. Jill Beck joined the La Salle faculty this year, taking charge of “figuring out where everybody is and where they are supposed to be,” she said, and working to facilitate the processes that authorize students’ comings and goings.

She spends much of her time helping students in the process of early dismissal and late arrival, whether that be for appointments, sickness, or a variety of other reasons. “It surprised me how many students come and go during the day or the amount of time that I spend helping students fix their attendance,” Ms. Beck said. “It’s a lot more than I expected.”

Especially with this semester’s updated behavioral policies, and the increased enforcement of being on time to class, she holds an important role in figuring out the logistics of students’ tardiness. “That actually has taken up a lot of my time, like dealing with tardies,” she said.  

She believes the policy shift has encouraged more parents to communicate with the school to excuse attendance matters. This information is directly channeled to Ms. Beck through a variety of different platforms — email, a phone call or voicemail, through SchoolPass, or the La Salle website — which she must “weed through,” she said, a lengthy process which can take a good portion of time.

Sometimes, this delay — between parental communication and administrative attendance updates — causes parents to worry and call back, wondering if the information had been passed on. “Sometimes people feel a little too panicky, but it is always fixable,” she said.

However, with a daughter currently attending La Salle, Ms. Beck understands the perspective of the parents, as in years prior, she too had moments of concern when attendance wasn’t updated quickly. 

“When I was [only] a parent, I probably didn’t understand that process,” she said. “You see a different side of it when you are actually in the process.”

And, her deeper understanding of La Salle on an administrative level has paralleled her deepened understanding of the community. 

From previous volunteering, Ms. Beck had already encountered the dynamics of the community — the catalyst in her decision to increase her involvement — and evidently, transitioning from being solely a parent to an administrator as well has further advanced her high regards of La Salle.

“I feel like everyone that’s here, and even the students, kind of have a sense of pride in their school and helping other people,” she said. 

In her past, Ms. Beck has done a diverse array of things, including graduating from Indiana University with a degree in criminal justice.

Prior to La Salle, Ms. Beck worked in a pediatrician’s office, but it was less interactive than she had hoped. Craving something more rewarding, she feels as though her position at La Salle is “more along the lines of what I’ve always enjoyed,” she said, referencing her ability to help students improve their attendance or offer them the resources they need. 

And, in tandem with her attendance-driven interactions with students, Ms. Beck also gets to participate in other community-oriented school activities like pep rallies, which are “really fun,” she said. 

But any new job comes with its unique complexities, mentioning the initial difficulty in figuring out how to use PowerSchool on the administrative side of things, rather than as a parent. But with time, Ms. Beck has and will continue to settle in, continuing to be a daily resource for students and their attendance needs.

It’s always a better feeling when you feel like you know what you are doing,” she said. “You feel like you can help people better when you know what you are doing.”  

In the future, Ms. Beck hopes to continue facilitating a smooth attendance process, participating in the tight-knit community, and “would hope to probably help streamline the way we do attendance and maybe see if there’s any improvements that can be made,” she said. 

But for now, she looks forward to continuing being a daily resource for students and their attendance needs.