Oak Harbor Elementary School office companions complement each other

Rita Heltsley, left, and Pam Glein have been an office tandem at Oak Harbor Elementary School for 11 years. - Ron Newberry / Whidbey News-Times
Rita Heltsley, left, and Pam Glein have been an office tandem at Oak Harbor Elementary School for 11 years.
— image credit: Ron Newberry / Whidbey News-Times

Rita Heltsley couldn’t imagine life at Oak Harbor Elementary School without Pam Glein.

Glein couldn’t imagine it there without Heltsley.

“If Pam changes careers, I’m following her wherever she goes,” Heltsley joked.

Heltsley and Glein have worked closely together at Oak Harbor Elementary for 11 years -- Heltsley as the principal’s secretary and Glein as an office assistant.

Dorothy Day has been principal at Oak Harbor Elementary for 13 years and couldn’t imagine life at school without either.

Day recognized both Heltsley and Glein at a recent Oak Harbor School Board meeting, providing roses, certificates and plenty of praise.

“It was very, very nice, very kind and sweet,” said Heltsley, who’s worked in the Oak Harbor School District 27 years, all of the same school. “It’s much appreciated. It feels kind of good.”

“We feel like we get recognized all the time,” Glein said. “It’s nice for Dorothy to share us with other people.”

Day called Heltsley her “right-hand lady,” with responsibilities that range from handling purchase orders and monthly reports to authorizing payroll, keeping track of the budget and greeting parents.

Day is the sixth principal that Heltsley has worked under at Oak Harbor Elementary.

“I was very glad when she joined Oak Harbor Elementary,” Heltsley said. “She was very enthusiastic about our program and about the school and its goals. She always carried that through. It’s been a real pleasure to work with somebody who’s invested in the Oak Harbor Elementary community.”

Glein has spent 17 years in the school district, 11 of them working alongside Heltsley. Her job includes ensuring attendance is accurate, making safety calls, handling school awards and student records and greeting parents and students.

“Rita is Dorothy’s right-hand man and I’m Rita’s right-hand man,” Glein said.


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