Sexta-feira, 19/10/2018 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

Mrs. Thorn makes the middle school office fun

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Mrs. Jan Thorn has fun on Dress as your Favorite Disney Character.

Jan Thorn started out as a paraprofessional at Kellogg Elementary and worked at the Ryan Intermediate in the office before coming to the middle school as a secretary. One of her jobs is to manage the chaos and keep the school running from behind the scenes.

“It gets crazy in between classes. Students are coming in and out with passes and other needs,” Thorn said. “Half or more of my job is managing the needs of parents and kids.”

The office is the first thing people experience when they visit a school. Thorn makes sure everyone feels welcome and knows it’s a good place to be at. By creating a pleasant environment, Thorn navigates newcomers and everyone who comes in and brightens their day with just a smile and a “How can I help you?”

Everybody has a different case and Thorn excels at listening and finding solutions for them. Thorn is also known for making the environment fun and a little playful for students and staff. She plays music around the office depending on the mood.

When kids come in late, I try to make them feel welcome. -Mrs. Jan Thorn

“Calming music like jazz or piano music. I play that boring music because people need the quiet, but on Friday’s I like to play upbeat fun music,” Thorn said.

According to HelpScout, music can increase productivity and mood in the office. Some people can find silence off-putting in a workplace and music is the perfect solution. Researchers have found that a moderate noise level can enhance people’s creativity and a 2015 study found that ambient noise improved people’s ability to concentrate.

The school office is usually associated with discipline and students are often afraid of going to it. Having a positive school climate can start in the office and contribute to student’s discipline in a healthy manner. A supportive climate can also make students feel safe to go the office for help.

“Sometimes I cheer when they walk in the door which embarrasses them,” Thorn said. “It’s important to have a positive environment. If someone is the office for negative reasons, I’ll tone it down, they won’t be in the mood to joke around.”

The majority of student interactions are non-disciplinary reasons and more needs such as bus passes or attendance so Thorn can get her fun in.

Thorn uses entertaining methods to make sure students are listening to the announcements. She will call down celebrities to the office or tell corny jokes on the PA system.

“Once I had Mrs. Spitters [another secretary] list off all of the members of One Direction,” Thorn said. “She had no idea who any of them were.”

“A lot of the time I’m doing things to make myself laugh and enjoy my job. If I’m happier, the more I can help other people,” Thorn said.  

Any job can feel tedious at times. Thorn combats the monotony of everyday life with music, jokes, and a welcoming space.

“Working with the students and community is rewarding. It’s good to have positive connections with people in the community and make people want to come to Gull Lake,” said Thorn. 



Hey, I’m Malissa Howe. I’m a sophomore and this is my first year in Newspaper. I plan on being a journalist after college and hopefully, this year is a chance to expand on my writing styles.


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Address: Gull Lake High School, 7753 N. 34th Street, Richland, MI 49083



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