Marilyn Wilson, former executive assistant to the Peninsula School District’s superintendent, was not surprised by her retirement party on April 11, but she was surprised to see past superintendent Terry Bouck had flown in from Montana to wish her good luck.
“I was watery eyed and so was he,” Wilson said. “It was a sweet moment.”
“Marilyn was absolutely the best of the best when it came to executive assistants, she was more than that,” Bouck said. “I felt the need to surprise her.”
Wilson started her career with the Peninsula School District 31 years ago, starting as the office manager at Henderson Bay High School.
“I was the first office manager at the school,” Wilson said. “So I took a lot of pride in forming that role. I loved working with the students and seeing them succeed. I watched the cream rise to the top.”
Wilson worked at Henderson Bay High School for 17 years until she was hired as the executive assistant for the superintendent.
“Over that time I’ve worked with three principals, four superintendents and many school boards,” Wilson said. “I’ve seen some big changes.”
Wilson and her husband Mike Wilson met while attending Washington State University. After getting married, they lived in Tacoma and Port Angeles before moving to Gig Harbor.
“My daughter started kindergarten and my son started in second grade here,” Wilson said. “So my kids went through the system here and it was fun to be a part of the community.”
When Wilson started at the district offices in 2003, she worked with past superintendent Jim Coolican.
“I worked with him for two years,” Wilson said. “Then Terry Bouck came in and worked for six years. I liked to think I am the liaison between the superintendent and the board. I wanted to make the superintendent's job as easy as possible. I am that buffer.”
Bouck said Wilson’s welcoming personality made her a gift to the district and to parents.
“You will get no better,” Bouck said. “When you are coming in as staff, parents or students, whatever, you can’t get a better welcome. When I came in, I was learning the ropes, and I couldn’t have done it without Marilyn. She was so knowledgeable about the district and the duties of the superintendent. Bottom line, she was a wealth of knowledge. She’s bright, articulate and she has a great work ethic.”
Wilson said in the 30 years she’s been with the district, she can’t pick just a single memory as a favorite memory.
“How can you?” she said. “It was all so great. There are so many people I am going to miss.”
Wilson said there was some high emotions for her last week at the district, when the realization that she would not be there to say “hi” to her coworkers almost every morning. Wilson’s retirement party was April 11 and her last day with the district was April 19. She is planning on spending her retirement with her husband, children and grandchildren traveling and volunteering.
“I want to create photo books, volunteer and travel with my husband,” Wilson said. “I am lucky to have called (Peninsula School District) my home away from home for 30-plus years. I will miss everyone so much.”