Lori VanDussen has two different mugs that read 'Chaos Coordinator' on them, and it's not just a clever saying, it's the truth. For the past ten years as the Hamilton Transporation Secretary and Dispatcher, she has helped handle bus routes, manage payroll, assist parent needs, communicate with staff, and everything in between.
"I always have a plan B, C, and D ready for things that could happen," she explained, "sometimes it can get chaotic trying to make sure everything is taken care of and all transportation needs are met."
Unfortunately for us at Hamilton Community Schools, Lori is heading for retirement on September 20, though it's hardly by choice. Instead, she says it's to honor promises that she made to friends and family who wanted to ensure she would enjoy retirement some day.
"I've built some great friendships here," she said with tears in her eyes. "I know it's a good move, I made some promises years ago that when the time came and I had my years in, that I would retire," she added.
Lori is a 1978 graduate of Hamilton High School and has two sons who are also Hawkeye graduates.
"So many blessings have come my way working here at the school, I never would have thought I would have worked for the school that I went to," she chuckled. "I've enjoyed every single minute of my employment here at Hamilton Community Schools. Everyone cares for each other here, on both good days, bad days, everyone is there for you, and you can trust them."
While it wasn't an easy decision to step away from a job she loves, she's ready to enjoy retirement with her husband on her farm.
"I'm going to hang out on the farm, that's the big goal of mine and spend more time with the grandkids, and the kids, I am looking forward to that."