Middle School worker loves coming to work
Lorna Galandak, student services secretary, helps a student after school at Clarendon Hills Middle School. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Name: Lorna Galandak
Hobbies: playing tennis, cooking, gardening
Favorite kind of food: Italian
Best dish she cooks: veal parmesean
Favorite sports teams: Bears and Cubs
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:01PM
CLARENDON HILLS — It’s not a coincidence that Lorna Galandak seems to be almost always be in good spirits while working as the student services secretary at Clarendon Hills Middle School.
Galandak, who has lived in Clarendon Hills for the past 36 years, has been in her same job since CHMS opened 13 years ago. Prior to that, she worked as a secretary at both Madison School and Hinsdale Middle School.
“The kids really do keep you young,” Galandak said. “I really do care about this place. I guess I was brought up to care about what you’re doing at work, but it’s easy to care here because of the people.”
Galandak has two daughters who attended Walker School. They are now 40 and 35.
“When my kids were in school, they used to have these mini-courses that some parents taught, and I taught cooking,” Galandak said. “I started working as a substitute secretary in the school district, and someone suggested I take the job at Madison when it became available.”
Galandak, 62, said many aspects of her job have changed over the years.
“As student services secretary, I have everything related to students: report cards, attendance, keeping all of the student files,” she said. “We have a lot more work going on in the office than used to be the case. There isn’t a minute that goes by when we’re not doing something. There are always more state mandates for the schools, and those create additional work for everyone.”
Galandak said improvements in technology have been very noticeable.
“When I first started working in the district, we had a ditto machine, a mimeograph machine, and a clunk typewriter,” she said. “About a month after I started, we got our first computer, and I had never seen a computer before. It was very intimidating.”
Intimidation turned into learning and knowledge for Galandak.
As much as she enjoys her job, Galandak said she also looks forward to retiring, but not for a while.
“I’ll probably work for another five years,” she said.
Donna Shelby, secretary to CHMS Principal Griffin Sonntag, has worked with Galandak since the school opened and has nothing except admiration.
“She does her job so well,” Shelby said. “She’s very reliable. She knows almost all the kids, and she has a great rapport with the parents. When they come in, she knows who their kids are. She’s just outstanding at her job, and she’s a very giving person.”