Friday was a bittersweet day at Merrill High School as Lynn Plautz finished her last day of work after 28 years with the district, the last six as the secretary to MHS Principal Shannon Murray.
Plautz started her career at what was Merrill Junior High School and later Prairie River Middle School as a secretary in the guidance office.
“When I was 63, I decided I needed a change,” she said. “When this position became open, much to my children’s’ dismay, I jumped at it.
“And it has been a blessing,” she added.
Plautz said at the time she wasn’t ready to retire, even though the new position wasn’t anything like her old position, requiring her to learn a new set of duties.
After the final bell of the day rang, Plautz was greeted by a steady stream of well wishers. She had made it clear that she didn’t want a huge send off party, preferring instead to just end her last day at the high school quietly. That didn’t stop a group of students from presenting her with a “bouquet” of notes wishing her well in a vase.
Plautz said the students have made the job fun for the last six years, but the time has finally come to retire and spend some time with her husband.
“I’ll be 70 on my next birthday, and it has finally come to the point when it is time to slow down,” Plautz said.
She said she has no plans yet for her free time, other than one.
“I’m going to turn off the alarm clock. That’s the first thing. I am going to maybe sleep in until 7 a.m., no more 5 a.m. wake ups,” Plautz said.
Her retirement officially begins Jan. 1, 2011. But due to accrued vacation time, she gets over a month’s jump on “relaxation time.”
As a budget cutting measure, it was decided that Plautz’s position will not be refilled. With some shuffling of offices, Murray and Athletic Director Jordan Sinz will share Sinz’s current secretary. Where the activities office was located will become the location of the Food Service secretary/cashier.