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Ms. Childers spreads positivity at VHHS

Ms.+Childers+communicates+through+her+radio.
Ms. Childers communicates through her radio.

Ms. Childers communicates through her radio.

Nadia Tourjman

Nadia Tourjman

Ms. Childers communicates through her radio.

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The period bell rings its shrill tune. Students hastily gather their belongings and rush out of the classroom. As they pool out into the hallway, they toss back a warm “Bye, Ms. Childers!”

As she starts walking down the hall, the greetings shower over her once again: “Hi, Ms. Childers!” And with a friendly smile and happy demeanor, Ms. Childers replies, “Hey, how are you?”

The kind hellos and have-a-nice-days are only a small part of Ms. Childers daily routine. Despite being a well-known figure at VHHS, few know how involved she really is at our school. All day, she’s flitting from one place to the next, monitoring and supervising the students.

“I love being a part of this school, being apart of the kids’ [lives], watching them develop and grow and go off to college,” Ms. Childers said. “I never, ever get tired of someone stopping and saying, ‘Hi, Mrs. Childers! Hi, Mrs. Childers!’”

Mary Childers was brought up in the area since she was 12 years old. She moved to Vernon Hills in 1986, where she raised her son Chris and daughter Lizzie.

Before working at VHHS, Ms. Childers dabbled in various industries and jobs. She started working at a police department in dispatch, where she would be radio support for the policemen out in the street, taking calls and directing the officers where to go. After that, she worked in the records department, processing reports and expunging crimes.

After her six-year career at the police department, she got into the hospitality business. Since working at restaurants during high school and college, she loved the fast-paced work. She worked as assistant manager of food service at Dean Witter Discover Building and was bookkeeper at the three food service operations of Motorola in Libertyville.

At these previous jobs, she worked long, hard hours and became burnt out. So after her daughter graduated from college, she decided to work at the high school something she has wanted to do for a long time.

Now, Ms. Childers works as study hall monitor, watching over the UC and being on hall duty. That is in addition to all the after-school activities she’s involved in, from lacrosse games to school dances.  

Out of all the parts of her job, Ms. Childers values the connections she can form with staff and students. She mentioned how school environments have changed since she was a kid; now, students and teachers can ask each other how everything is going and form more personal relationships.

With everything she does, Ms. Childers brings her passion and enthusiasm. Over the past few years, she has helped with a project in Ms. Macias’s Literacy class.

Students in the class read books and write in their literary blogs. Ms. Macias invites teachers to read along with the students and follow their blogs, and Ms. Childers has consistently volunteered to help.

“She’s always been really supportive and followed through to the end,” Ms. Macias said. “She’s always looking for ways where she can interact with students, even beyond the requirements of her job.”

Prevention and Wellness Coordinator Ms. Dillon brought up similar stories of Ms. Childers selflessly giving her time to be involved and participate in school activities.

For the past three or four years, Ms. Childers has helped out with the Snowball event. Ms. Dillon commented on how although Ms. Childers’ involvement is a favor to her, she acts like Ms. Dillon is doing her a favor by letting her come.

“She is somebody that will give you the shirt off her back. She’s so in it for the kids,” Ms. Dillon said.

Students also commented on how much Ms. Childers supported their accomplishments and showed she cared. This past year, Ms. Childers chaperoned the FBLA state trip to Springfield.

Sara Weisblatt (12) described one of her favorite moments from the trip.

“When we all started to do well after we got our awards, she came over to me and my friends. She was very proud, and she was crying,” Weisblatt said.

Ms. Childers commented on how working at VHHS is a great end to her career. She lives life with a purpose: to be active, to learn and to experience new adventures. All her hard work pays off when she ends the day feeling accomplished.  

“Even as I get older, I still seek those different experiences,” Ms. Childers said. “I was always able to touch lives, and my life was touched in return.”

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