New Albany legend retires after this year

By: Katherine Kerr

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You may know her as “Becky,” “Mrs. Schmidt” or “Miss Becky,” but the name of choice has stuck nonetheless. Nearly every student walking the halls of New Albany High School have at one point become familiar with the friendly face of “Miss” Becky Schmidt. Schmidt started as the secretary for the WNAS Radio Department nearly 25 years ago when now director, Lee Kelly, took over in 1973. Her title became official, though, in August of 1987. For these 25 years, Schmidt has not only been Kelly’s right-hand-WOman, but has also been a source of friendly conversation and guidance to every radio student and non-radio student alike.

This 25th year is particularly special because Mrs. Schmidt will be retiring, or “graduating” as she likes to call it, with the class of 2012. After 25 years of doing the paperwork and organization for the radio department, Schmidt has decided it is time for her to “move on” from this position and enjoy life as a retiree.

“I graduated from NAHS 48 years ago at the age of 17! Now in 2012 I am a true SENIOR!” Schmidt said.

With her free time, Schmidt said that she plans to visit her son and daughter-in-law in California much more often than she is able to now.

From working with the voice of the Bulldogs, Lee Kelly, for so long, Schmidt is leaving with stories and memories from the experience to last a lifetime.

“One morning we came to work and Mr. Kelly’s office was full of balloons. Students had taken the ceiling tiles out in the classroom and threw the balloons over the wall into his office. I can still see him sitting at his desk surrounded by balloons!”

An even better experience, Schmidt expressed, was being able to visit New York City on radio trips, work on games shows and plan election details.

Fun and games aside, Schmidt’s job hasn’t always been simple. Perfecting the paperwork and organization process for the radio department takes a certain kind of effort and patience. With Schmidt being the one to figure out the logistics of the program, it will be hard for someone to fill her void. Schmidt has simple and quality advice for the person taking her place: “Be organized…there is a lot of paperwork to keep track of.”

This change might be especially hard for Kelly without the other half of his team. Working together for so long, students and teachers alike have began to wonder how these two work so well together.

“He has always taken care of the technical side of the program and I like the organization and paperwork,” Schmidt said, “I have always loved working at NAHS and for Mr. Kelly.”

After 25 years, although the departure may be bittersweet, Schmidt has overall good feelings about the experience.

“Working at a job you love for 25 years is all you can ask for!”

Classes of 2011 and beyond may not be able to say they knew “Miss” Becky, but these future classes can thank Schmidt for everything she has done for the department. Each student that has become familiar with her face can say that she has made an impact on his or her high school experience. This year, we say goodbye to a class of seniors that may be missed, but plan to continue their lives elsewhere, and Miss Becky will be one of them.

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