Kayla Miller
Special to Ohio.com

After a seven-year whirlwind of answering phones, keeping track of students’ attendance and scheduling meetings, Laura Campbell exited Copley High School on Friday for the last time as a Main Office secretary. 

 Campbell has always had a connection to Copley schools – even before she sat behind a desk.  She has lived in the community for 13 years, and she worked as a substitute teacher in the district for 3 years until she decided to apply for a secretarial position in 2006. 

 Since then, she has fallen in love with the staff and students, and she has even been able to see her grandson, Andy Campbell, walk through the halls this year as a freshman. 

 “I know she will be missed very much here at school,” Andy Campbell said. 

 A typical day for Campbell begins with her filtering through phone calls, doctors’ notes and emails for students’ attendance.  She is also in charge of depositing funds for various accounts and overseeing payroll.  While her daily schedule is a hectic one, she has still managed to develop strong bonds with her co-workers and students.

 “The best part is seeing the kids change from their freshman year to the time they graduate,” Campbell said. 

 Campbell leaves big shoes to fill upon her departure.  Prior to Copley hiring Campbell, she worked as a secretary at Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel from 1966-1976.  With that knowledge, she has helped the high school’s main office run smoothly even on the most unpredictable of days. 

“She helps with any questions I have and she listens to me when I am frustrated,” Principal Matt Young said.  “She has been that way to everyone; she just connects overall with the parents, the staff and the students.” 

Young announced Tuesday that Carla Zahler, middle school main office secretary will replace Campbell. 

“Carla has served as the Middle School main office secretary for several years and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience,” Young said.

At a desk parallel to Campbell’s is Stacy Samarigan, the other Main Office secretary.  Samarigan explains that her friend’s laugh, orneriness and ability to find humor in anything has helped to make the days fly by. 

 Campbell’s booming laugh even received its own award last year when the staff voted for her to receive the “Most Distinctive Laugh” superlative. 

 “We think a lot alike and have a lot of the same personality traits,” Samarigan said.  “We also laugh a lot when we are together. Finding humor in everything is what keeps us going.”

 Even though Campbell will not be at the desk next to Samarigan’s, they plan to keep in touch. They intend to talk over the phone to share stories of the on-goings at the school and Campbell’s new life as a retiree.

In fact, Campbell has had a countdown going since the beginning of the school year to mark the end of this chapter and the beginning of the next.  She looks forward to having more time to commit to her quilting group, which makes blankets for U.S. soldiers. 

Also, she plans to kick off her retirement when turkey season opens on Oct. 14.  An outdoor enthusiast, Campbell enjoys hunting with her husband, Bob.

 Together, the couple would like to take a road trip to Alaska.  Then, they plan to warm up in Florida for the winter. 

 “Instead of shoveling snow, I am going to shovel sand,” Campbell said with a smile.

 At the end of the day, Campbell plans on leaving the school as a staff member, but she won’t be gone for good.  She says her CHS family can still find her in the football stands or at community events.

 “I never thought that this point in my life would come,” Campbell said.  “Time has just flown by.” 

Kayla Miller is a student at Copley High School. If you are a high school student interested in writing for any of the MyCommunities.Ohio.com websites, contact Content Publisher Deanna Stevens Ulrich at dstevens@thebeaconjournal.com