In some ways, administrative assistants are the unsung heroes of the modern workplace—meticulously organizing, scheduling, and ensuring smooth operations. Their multitasking prowess, combined with an impeccable attention to detail, ensures that no task goes undone. Though they might not always be in the spotlight, their influence is felt nearly everywhere. And so we bring you, TNCS’s own office heroine!
Meet Jade Wells-White!
Jade Wells-White joined The New Century School in July, just 3 months after graduating college and just 2 months prior to the start of the 2022–2023 school year. “Administrative Assistant and Extracurricular Activities (ECAs) Coordinator are my official titles, but I also have many other roles,” she said. “I’m the onsite person for human resources and involved in the onboarding process. I also work with our international intern program, and I do accounts payable as well.” A testament to Ms. Wells-White’s work ethic and competence, the latter responsibilities developed as she proved herself.
Ms. Wells-White is a Baltimorean, born and raised. “For middle school and high school, I went to McDonogh School, and for college I went to McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. I received my degree in business administration and marketing, and this is my first real-world job!”
She says that starting her job at TNCS in the summer allowed her to ease in and observe to help her make the transition. The start of a school year is always going to be hectic! Ms. Wells-White also attributes her relative soft landing into the “real world” to her own education pathway. She was familiar with the independent school sphere from her time at McDonogh, and her college experience familiarized her with how important a small, close-knit environment can be for optimizing learning.
(Is McDonogh ringing any bells? If you are a regular reader of Immersed, you’ll know that the TNCS Head of School Erika Johnson herself is an alumna!)
When asked how TNCS came to be her first job after graduating from McDaniel, Ms. Wells-White admits that she hadn’t been familiar with the school until doing research about it. She liked what she learned! “I felt it would be a great opportunity to work here because I was very close to becoming a Spanish minor when I was in college, and I thought working here would help me with my Spanish and working toward making it a second language. So I definitely saw that benefit, but also I felt it would be a great first job, and once I started, everyone was so supportive with onboarding and making sure that I was comfortable and up to speed.” The multilingual part of TNCS’s identity is something she feels sets the school apart. “A lot of schools don’t focus on that, but it’s important to be able to speak more than one language. The fact that three languages are taught here is such a great opportunity for students,” she said.
As for how it’s going now, she waxed positively poetic. “This is a great place to be, and everyone is so nice and helpful. It feels like a little family.” That family feel extends into the classroom, she has noticed. “The reason chose to go to McDaniel was because I wanted to have close relationships with my teachers. Students here are able to do that as well, and their teachers really know them as individuals and get to see them grow through their time at TNCS. The small size is definitely beneficial for students as they go through their years here.”
But there’s an additional perk, and it occurs outside her office: “I get to see the adorable little kids every day. Even though it’s a short hour out of my day, they really brighten my day—they’re always so happy and joyful!
“When I first got here, I looked at the data from what was going on before COVID to see what types of activities were popular here and what students were really involved in. Then I reached out to people who TNCS had already worked with and had run successful programs, like Modern Masters and Tippi Toes Dance.” Others were not pursuable for various reasons, so Ms. Wells-White embraced the opportunity to more or less “start over from scratch.” “I also reached out to families to see what kinds of things they wanted to see on campus. Through that process, I got suggestions about Soccer Shots and a jujitsu and yoga program with instructor Christy Jenkins, which have turned to be very popular this quarter. I also found a chess program that’s been going pretty well. And, I’m still trying to find more activities, like maybe horseback riding or swimming. I definitely want to hear from parents about what they want to see, but for now I just try my best to build on what was here in the past.”
Although the off-campus activities she is considering would be logistically much more challenging to implement, Ms. Wells-White has ideas how to make them work, such as contacting local colleges and high schools for students to act as chaperones, especially those interested in pursuing education careers, which would give them a rich opportunity to work with younger kids.
Speaking of younger kids, Ms. Wells-White is actively looking for more preschool ECAs, so stay tuned!
“I’m always open to suggestions. I am definitely trying to build a program that is beneficial for your students and allow them to participate in things that can help them grow, things to challenge them, and to provide something outside the regular aftercare activities. I’m always reachable by e-mail.” She also mentioned having an inside track to Ms. Johnson so can help set up meetings, ensure she’s receiving your communications, and so on.
Parents, Ms. Wells-White’s message is loud and clear: your feedback is welcome!
What is on the horizon for Ms. Wells-White? For now, she’s content to absorb all she can about this first job that she clearly enjoys—not to mention is very good at. She’s not ready to think too far down the road yet. “I wear a lot of hats here, and I have a hand in a lot of things behind the scenes. . . but I’m always open to opportunities!”