Intro – Emma Riddell

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    • #2845
      Emma Riddell
      Points: 536

      Kia ora whanau,

      I’m the EO of Riccarton Primary School. This is my first full-time job since becoming a mum 17 years ago. Over the years I’ve had a running joke with my husband Damien that I NEVER wanted to go back working full-time, I was having too much fun being a mum, we have 4 children – 3 boys, (2 of whom are teenagers, I would just like to say, whoever told me years ago that boys are harder when they are young and easier when they are teens, lied!) and bringing up the rear is our only daughter. I only have 4 brothers, but at least I’m the oldest. I tell Amali that we are the bookends of our family!

      Sorry, I digress… I was having too much fun being a mum, gardening and teaching myself all sorts of tricks on the computer. To be fair I would have gone back to work sooner except I’m a breast cancer survivor (2012) and I’ve had to rebuild my brain. Chemo brain is baby brain on steroids! My husband Damien is a working musician, has been in bands for longer than I have known him, and this year decided he’s had enough being a full-time guitar tutor and gone back to work in retail. So, I’m back at work too, but I’d rather have a happy husband!

      Immediately before children I worked for a large trucking firm as the Payroll (450 staff paid weekly) and Accounts team leader. It was a company that struggled financially and I learnt to be very resourceful! I’ve been working in early childhood education part-time for the last 16 years, and developed my own SMS out of an Access database. I learnt a lot of skills in doing this and am very grateful for the opportunity and freedom my employers (aka Mum & Dad) gave me to do so. Working in a school office is nothing like I’ve ever done before. I knew the learning curve would be steep, but man, the pace can be frenetic!

      My met Rob last year when I was on the BOT and working part-time in the school office, helping out with student achievement analysis. I needed to talk to someone about my formulas and didn’t know where to go for help, I ended up doing all of his digital office series. I have been appalled at how office staff seem to be the bottom of the barrel when it comes to PD, we work in the education field! I’m rapt he has started this forum, unfortunately up until now I haven’t had the energy to devote time to it.  But he’s on my case to join, so I thought I’d better.

      I geek out over stuff and love minion meme’s (I don’t know why – but everything just seems funnier if a minion is in the picture) Treatment really taught me the power of joy and laughter, and left me with a somewhat ‘black’ sense of humour.

      The things I’m currently geeking out over are:

      • conditional formatting using formula’s (really handy in date driven spreadsheets that you want to automatically “grey” out past events)
      • I’ve just learnt the power of dynamic folder references (found in autocrat mail merge add-on) and how to automatically digitally file a google doc in an employees folder and simultaneously in the Principals staff appraisal folder. for example.
      • I’m also currently learning how to make bar codes so I can barcode (and feed and update the ‘register’, a google sheet) all of the schools assets and make auditing assets for the accountants/auditor/insurance “fun”. This may be a longer term project as I may have to learn some scripting….but, hey, our librarian might also get a portable scanner out of it!
      • This isn’t a ‘geek out’ – but just trying to get everyone to see the sense of and embrace the power of mail merge!

      If any of you have any thoughts – they will be greatly appreciated. I ‘m all about helping, empowering and leaning!

      Sorry – I went on a bit…

    • #2975
      Rob Clarke

      Welcome Emma!

      Finally, ha! You’ve inspired me and so I’ve just initiated a new feature for ‘compliments’ which uses… wait for it… MINIONS!

      Can you guess which one this is?

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