There is not a time in Jennifer Konnovitch’s life that she remembers not being a devoted Bellaire Bomber.
Growing up, she loved her years as a student at Bellaire Elementary. Her dad was also a “true” Bellaire Bomber, as she describes him, who volunteered at the school “all day, every day.” Then, life came full circle for Konnovitch in 2010 when she became the school secretary and was able to work there with her father for the last year and a half before he passed away. Since then, Konnovitch has been living her “dream job.” Her words, not ours.
“I guess I always admired the people in the office when I was in school,” Konnovitch explained. “I just know that I’ve always said I’d love to be a school secretary one day. And I can honestly say today that there is no other job I’d rather have!”
Sure, she could be making more money elsewhere. In fact, Konnovitch left a lucrative management position in financial planning to work for Bossier Schools, first as a paraprofessional at Bellaire and Elm Grove Middle before becoming secretary at Sun City Elementary and ultimately at Bellaire. Konnovitch has since had several opportunities to work elsewhere in the district, but each time her heart said no.
“I’ve tried to convince myself to take a district secretarial position for the retirement pay, but I just can’t do it! I love being at a school. I love registration, bookkeeping, helping parents, creating refrigerator notes (laughs), snack shop, teacher appreciation, luncheons, Jean Day … I love it all! And I am truly blessed to have a husband who, although we joke about the salary of me living my dream job, he supports me and truly cares about my happiness.”
It is no surprise her colleagues call this human dynamo the backbone of Bellaire.
“She puts in hours upon hours to make school activities special for everyone,” Victoria Fletcher said. “She is the glue that holds us all together. Jennifer goes above and beyond to make the staff at Bellaire feel loved and appreciated. Every year, I think that there is no way she will top the previous year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, but then she does it even better.”
“She anticipates and meets needs before most people think of them,” added Jayln Wooten. “She is the fun one, making special days even more special for our faculty and staff. I dare say no one puts more enthusiasm and love into her job than she does.”
Bellaire administrators could not agree more.
Assistant Principal Shelly Bihm called Konnovitch “the heart of Bellaire. She is a radio broadcaster, event planner, staff supporter, registration specialist, paperwork manager, accountant, nurse, counselor. Can I just say she plays a hand in the management or facilitation of ALL THINGS! It is especially noteworthy how she plans games, acquires prizes and makes the staff feel extra special. She is an absolute delight and we would be lost without her.”
And, unknowingly at the time, it was Konnovitch who persuaded Principal Alyshia Coulson to first come to Bellaire.
“When I interviewed for Bellaire Assistant Principal nine and a half years ago, I had decided before I arrived for the interview that I would know if this was the school for me by the demeanor of the secretary,” Coulson reflected. “I walked in the door and was immediately greeted with a cheerful voice and smile. The secretary was on a ladder painting the front office in the middle of her summer vacation. She struck up a conversation and I knew I wanted the job before I even met the principal. That pretty much tells you what you need to know about Jennifer Konnovitch.”
It is why this backbone of Bellaire, facilitator of all things and glue that holds it all together is Bossier Schools’ first Gold Star recipient of 2022. Her legion of fans are quick to say it is an honor long overdue, yet Konnovitch turns the focus back on those she serves.
“Our entire staff works so hard everyday to enrich the lives of our little Bombers!” she exclaimed. “My role at Bellaire is just a small piece of the incredible accomplishments achieved there. From the principal to the custodians, they are all Gold Stars!”
Editor’s note: Know someone who works for Bossier Schools that is deserving of recognition for going above and beyond? Nominate them for the Gold Star award, proudly sponsored for the last nine years by Bossier Federal Credit Union. Just go to https://bit.ly/3oAP4Mi
and tell what sets them apart.