PJCC school is like ‘family’ as Kuhlman readies for 49th year

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PJCC/St. Boniface Administrative Assistant Brenda Kuhlman

Editor’s Note: This continues a series of monthly articles celebrating pride in our town and its surroundings shown through the experience of residents and organizations. 

By Jane Schuchardt

Special to the Elgin Review 

This interviewer’s car engine was barely cool after returning from Pope John and St. Boniface Catholic Schools, Elgin, when a text message flies in – 

“Another wonderful part of working at the schools is seeing the children and grandchildren of former students. So many lasting friendships start at these doors,” wrote Brenda Kuhlman, likely with a smile on her welcoming face. 

Come March, she launches her 49th year at the Catholic schools in town, a job she started two months before graduating from that same school in 1975. Back then, she explained, upon completing coursework, you could get a job. 

With her focus on shorthand, typing, and other administrative skills, she was a natural then for the job. Though computer technology has changed her responsibilities, at 65 years old, she has no intention of retiring. 

Tucked inside a quiet office, walls lined with family photos and other memories, inside the main office suite at the school, she talked eloquently about her critical role as administrative assistant. “It’s whatever comes in the door,” she summarized. “Payroll, forms, announcements, working with the booster club, and the Committee for the Continuation of Pope John (CCPJ), copying, putting a band aide on an injured student, monthly calendars, memos for faculty, etc., etc.”

Always with that incessant smile, Kuhlman, who likes to get in a bit early to savor the quiet before the 137 pre-K through senior high students and 20-plus faculty and staff arrive, shared her love for this job. 

For the entire story, see this week’s Elgin Review.