Franklin West Supervisory Union is fortunate to have recently added Executive Assistant Amanda Duling to our Central Office team. Before coming to FWSU, Amanda was the Marketing Coordinator at Blodgett and the Office Manager at Fuse.
As you get to know Amanda, you will soon find out she has stellar skill sets, the right disposition, and a genuine commitment to the comprehensive role this position plays in moving many aspects of education forward across the supervisory union. As she puts it, “As the FWSU Executive Assistant, I have a behind-the-scenes look at the supervisory union operations. As a parent of a BFA Fairfax Middle School student, I’m personally invested in the mission, but here I’m gaining a broader understanding and appreciation for the work done by our boards, educators, and administrators, and I’m proud to be part of the organization!”
What’s the last book you read?
Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs by Dave Holmes. I’m a music nerd and this is an autobiography of a former MTV personality who assigned music to the stages of his life. I’ve always felt my life had a growing soundtrack so it was interesting to read about the intersection of music and someone else’s life. (“Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove” is another good one!)
Who inspires you?
I’m not inspired by a particular individual, but effective leadership is inspiring to me. I’ve worked for, and with, a variety of management styles and I’ve noticed that a lot of people like to talk, but leaders listen. A good leader creates space for others to grow and fosters those initiatives and provides challenges.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
I’m currently researching vendors for our websites, which in addition to learning the features and benefits of each vendor, requires a closer look at our information management and how information is consumed by our audience. There are the obvious technical and accessibility requirements, but I want to ensure we’re effectively reaching our community with minimal labor required by our content providers.
What’s your favorite thing so far about working in the FWSU Central Office?
This role touches a variety of activities and interacts with the entire FWSU community. So far I’ve been involved in budget presentations, the FWSU blog, websites, purchasing, and meeting planning–and I’m just getting started!
What are you passionate about in your work?
No matter what I’m working on, I approach it as a project manager. If I’m working on one task of a larger project, I’ll check my box, but also look at the entire process and communicate with the other participants to understand how information was generated prior to my stage and what will be done with it after I pass it along. Having even a general understanding of the processes in a project will make it easier to improve my part and quality of the work being done.
What’s something you’d like the educators of FWSU to know about you that they might not know?
Professionally? I integrate “lean principles” in all my activities. When I enter a role, or task, I spend time observing processes and identify opportunities to reduce waste and improve efficiencies for all parties involved. Personally? I’m a serial volunteer. Locally I was involved in the early work of the Fairfax Recreation Department (I cleared brush where the little league field is now), the Egg Run, Fairfax Success By Six and the Fairfax Community Center (back when we were Citizens for Fairfax Community). I like to help out at local events whenever possible, even if it’s just chaperoning a school dance or baking for a fundraiser, and I’m a regular volunteer at the South End Art Hop, Burlington Food & Wine Festival and Waking Windows music festival. I’ve spent so many years as an event manager that for fun I like to help out at events I’m not responsible for!
Linda Keating is the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at Franklin West Supervisory Union. She is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY. You can follow her on Twitter @Educate4ward