Tri-Village News

Transitions marked Kipp's decades in board office

Retired secretary recalls replacing typewriter, watching district students grow

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Sandra Kipp retired May 31 after 35 years in the district, including 21 years as school board secretary.

For the past 35 years, Sandy Kipp has not only been an employee of the Grandview Heights City School District, but also a proud parent and grandparent.

On May 31, she ended one of those roles as she retired as the board secretary.

"I cried and cried," Kipp said about her last day. "Everybody was coming up to me and giving me a hug and wishing me well. The last few days were tough."

Kipp's three daughters and one of her granddaughters graduated from Grandview, and two other granddaughters will enter the fifth and 11th grades respectively this fall.

"I can't imagine living and working in a better school district," she said. "Grandview isn't perfect, but we're 99 percent there."

Kipp's first job with the district was in the Edison school kitchen.

"We moved into the community in 1975, and when my youngest daughter started kindergarten, I was looking for something to do," she said.

Later, she became a teacher's aide before moving into the district office 21 years ago.

"I've worked under six superintendents and they've all been tremendous. Each one had a different approach to their job," Kipp said. "I've been lucky to work with so many great administrators, teachers, staff and school boards."

But what has made her tenure so special has been the students, she said.

"It's was wonderful getting to know the kids year after year after year," Kipp said. "Each class of students has its own dynamic. They're never the same.

"I've enjoyed meeting the students as they come in as kindergartners and watching them grow into young adults by the time they graduate," she said.

There came a point when students she first knew as kindergartners were bringing in their own children to register them for school.

"Boy, that starts to make you feel kind of old," Kipp said. "No matter how old our former students become, my image of them is still frozen from when they were in school."

Perhaps the biggest change in her job has been the technology.

"I can remember when we still used mimeograph machines and the kids loved to smell the freshly printed paper," she said.

One day, she was told of plans to replace her typewriter with a computer.

"I said, 'I don't want to know about the computer, I don't want to know how it works. I'm happy with my typewriter,' " Kipp recalled. "Well, they brought in my computer, and three months later they asked me if I wanted to go back to my typewriter -- no way!"

Computer technology and email has "certainly made things a lot easier," she said.

It wasn't easy for her to leave the board office on her last day, Kipp said.

"But when I walked out, a lot of people were gathered in the hallway and they clapped and cheered for me," she said. "That meant so much to me."

Her immediate plans included knee replacement surgery June 3, and she and her husband are planning a trip to South Carolina this summer.

"I'm sure we'll be doing more traveling," Kipp said. "Now I can do that whenever I like. It's going to feel different."