LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Rhonda Cromer

Position: Administrative Assistant
School: Gilbert Linkous Elementary School
School District: Montgomery County Public Schools
City, State: Blacksburg, VA

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Rhonda Cromer was nominated by her principal, Carol Slonka.

It is Slonka's privilege to recommend GLES Administrative Assistant, Rhonda Cromer, for the LifeChanger of the Year Award. She has worked closely with Ms. Cromer for the past several years and continues to be astounded by her knowledge, ability, and varied skill sets. As the main front office employee in the building, Ms. Cromer meets and greets a variety of students, staff, parents and community members every day, while also answering the telephone and responding to a variety of staff needs.

"In every interaction that I have witnessed, Rhonda remains friendly, courteous, patient, and kind," Slonka said.

Gilbert Linkous is a public elementary school located in Blacksburg, VA in close proximity to Virginia Tech. As a result, the school and community population is quite diverse, with many cultures and languages represented. Parents who visit the building are quick to build trust and friendship with Ms. Cromer as they recognize her impressive knowledge of school operations and the surrounding community.

Ms. Cromer is consistently kind and caring in her interactions with students. She helps daily with calls home for forgotten items and serves as relief nurse as needed. She patiently and calmly deals with every situation that students bring to her, always doing her best to find a resolution that is pleasing to the student. Every morning, she strives to set a positive tone for each student's day as she assists with one need after another in a short period of time.

Gilbert Linkous Elementary School has a positive reputation in the community, and Ms. Cromer's helpfulness and kindness in the front office contribute greatly to that positivity. Many office workers would be challenged by the front office's busy pace, endless questions, and various languages, but Ms. Cromer is never ruffled or stressed. She takes the time needed to ensure that each person is satisfied and made to feel valued and respected.

Ms. Cromer provides leadership in many areas throughout the building. In addition to handling the front office, she serves as the school bookkeeper, orders and pays for supplies and materials, registers new students, prepares payroll for classified staff, manages keys and badges for staff, schedules student classes, follows up on any missing information, acts as nurse when needed, and helps teachers find substitutes. All staff in the building know that Ms. Cromer is the go-to girl for any information or process needed. She is known to always provide a correct answer, even if she has to stop and investigate in order to obtain it.

Ms. Cromer has a solid reputation as a top-notch administrative assistant throughout the district. She is active in the Administrative Professionals Association, and she has often been called upon to serve as an unofficial mentor to newly hired Administrative Assistants. Additionally, the annual audit of her accounting/bookkeeping for the school has been nearly error-free for a number of years. She takes pride in her work and always strives to make sure she is detailed and thorough in completing all tasks. Ms. Cromer was named the Support Staff Employee of the Year for Montgomery County Public Schools in the 2016-17, an honor for which she received monetary rewards and School Board recognition. 

In summary, Ms. Cromer is the epitome of what a successful front office manager represents. She uses a calm, problem-solving approach when presented with challenges, and she routinely displays a can-do attitude. She gives more than 100% in everything that she does and always goes the extra mile for everyone. These attributes make her a true asset to her school and community!

"I feel blessed to have her in charge of our front office each day. She is very deserving of the LifeChanger of the Year Award," Slonka said.

Comments (12)

Cathy Eaton Posted over a year ago

Rhonda always goes above and beyond for the community at GLE!

Liz Sharp Posted over a year ago

Our family has been at GLE for years, and Ms. Cromer has always been helpful and friendly to me and my family. Anytime I'm in the office, she always has a smile and can help me with any questions I have. GLE wouldn't be the same without her!

Scott Tucker Posted over a year ago

I think Ms. Cromer is GREAT!!!!! We moved to Blacksburg from NC this past summer and the school had to have our medical/immunization records for our two children. What sounds like a simple process, but turned out not to be. The medical office in NC could not get it right. Repeatedly. Well, thanks to Ms. Cromer, she took the bull by the horns with patience and calmness. Called the medical office and explained to them what we needed. We finally got the records that were needed, the day or two days before school was to start. I was getting anxious, because my kids could not start without those records. The whole moving process is stressful and the some of the first people you meet can influence your feelings about an area. Ms. Cromer has given our family a wonderful feeling about Gilbert Linkous and Blacksburg. I think she is the best. We love her genuine kindness and her smiling face. She is definitely a "Life Changer"!!!!!!!! Love, The Tucker's

Sara Perks Posted over a year ago

Rhonda is a bright spot in this world... she is compassionate, caring...always willing to help and GLE is truly blessed to have her. I personally am thankful to know her and call her my friend. She gives 110% always.

Marie Castillo Posted over a year ago

Ms. Rhonda is such a blessing to the students, parents, faculty and staff at Gilbert Linkous Elementary. She is always there to welcome you with a warm smile and greeting. She is an expert in her role and able to assist with anything you might need. Ms. Rhonda often puts aside her own responsibilities to assist those around her. She is not only a great employee but a great friend and supporter. The staff rely on her for advice and will come to her for moral support. Our family is grateful for her support, her wonderful smile and her enduring spirit! We love you Ms. Rhonda!!!!

Margery L Mullins Posted over a year ago

Rhonda Jo is essential to our school functioning. She helps everyone!

Allison cromer Posted over a year ago

I can't say enough about Rhonda. Not just because she is my mother and has been the most influential person in my life but also because she has influenced and changed so many other people's life's around her. She has nothing but love and respect for everyone she meets. Some how she stays positive no matter what life throws her way. I hope one day to be half the person she is and I am so proud to call her my mom. She loves her job and would give anything for the people she works with and her school. In my opinion she goes above and beyond with everything she does.

Sarah Burris Posted over a year ago

Ms. Rhonda is the heart of our school. She greets everyone with a smile and is always willing to help; even when she has a to do list that is forever long. I appreciate Rhonda as a person and as a coworker. She deserves to be recognized for her effort and dedication to GLE. We love you, Rhonda!

Kelly Pleasant Posted over a year ago

MS. Cromer is a wonderful member of our GLE school community. The amount of time and effort she puts into making everything run smoothly is often above and beyond her responsibilities and frankly her compensation level. This is a testament to how much Rhonda cares about our school, our students and our staff. Her level of caring and commitment is inspirational. We appreciate her on so many levels. There is never a task she won't tackle or a request she doesn't try wholeheartedly to honor. Rhonda Cromer is well deserving of the LifeChanger of the Year Award. She makes a difference in the lives of children in many ways, everyday.

Rhonda Meadows Posted over a year ago

Rhonda Cromer is an exceptional administrative assistant. She juggles requests from hundreds of children, parents, and teachers and keeps a smile on her face. She never fails to help someone even when she is in the middle of juggling numerous duties. She is an amazing colleague!

Alex Greenman Posted over a year ago

Rhonda Cromer is a perpetual giver. She is responsible, dependable, and competent about the hundreds of tasks involved with her job. She works very hard and puts in the extra time to go the extra mile. She cares about each faculty member and student. She makes time for each person, even when normal people would be overwhelmed. She is always kind and listens to others. She is truly one of a kind and we are so blessed to have her here at GLE!

Ann Berenato Posted over a year ago

Rhonda is a rock star, in my opinion. She is always so helpful and knowledgeable about everything. If she doesn't know the answer, she will find out. She is kind and friendly. I truly believe GLE could not function without her. She is very deserving of this honor.