This week’s neighbor is Jen King, who is the administrative assistant to District Administrator Craig Olson of the Hayward Community School District.
Jen was born in River Falls and moved north to the beautiful Minong Flowage when she was 4 years old. Her dad built the family house, which was just a “short run through the woods” to her grandparent’s cabin.
One of her favorite childhood memories was when she caught her first big fish on the Minong Flowage. She was just 9 years old and was wearing her ice skates. The northern was 17 pounds and 41 inches long and kept pulling her into the hole. She finally caught him.
Jen graduated from Northwood High School in Minong and WITC. Her dad and stepmom and mom and stepdad all live in Minong so she said she’s “not too far away for a chat or home-cooked meal.”
Jen currently lives in Trego but plans to move to Hayward in September. She has one son, Cole, who graduates this year from Spooner and will go to college in the fall.
“I always threaten him that I’ll be following him wherever he goes and mom doesn’t really need a new car because I will be living in his basement, and he can drive me everywhere. Of course, I get the ‘look’ and headshake, no,” she said.
Jen also said she has a second baby, a 75-pound white lap dog named Oakley.
Talk about your jobs and careers, if you would.
“Years ago I helped open Auto Glass Specialists, ‘The Guys in the Little Red Trucks,’ here in Hayward. I worked for the company for 11 years at a few locations until they sold to Safelite.
I sold auto, fire and life insurance for Tim Reedy State Farm in Spooner before coming to the school district.”
How did you come to arrive in Hayward?
“My family wanted me to help with their real estate business so I decided to get my real estate license. I didn’t tell anyone at my job I was going for my license so when I passed the test and finally told them, I got a surprise and they said I couldn’t have both licenses for my job, so I had to make a very touch decision and chose to look for another job, and that’s how I ended up here.”
What’s a day in your life look like as the administrative assistant to the district administrator of schools?
“A day in my chair is very busy and never the same. My job is to keep track of Mr. Olson and that is exhausting — he never sits down! He is always engaging with the school buildings and community.
The best part of my job is the students, staff and community. I remember when I was in school and the superintendent’s office as the ‘scary office’ that we never went into, with the ‘scary office lady.’ Well, now that I am the office lady, I don’t want the students to think of me as the ‘scary office’ lady. The door is always open here and I love to talk with the students, even just to say ‘hi’ and tell them to have a great day.
I’m probably the only one in the district who cannot wear maroon to work. When Mr. Olson hired me that was one thing I had to agree to, because my son goes to the border battle school, Spooner!”
What are your outside interests?
“I like to relax and read at our family cabin. Spend time with family and friends, road trips, explore new places, go to the movies, ATV riding. I love Canal Park, Split Rock and Gooseberry Falls day trips. Oh, I also make cupcakes for events as a hobby.”
Finish the sentence, “If I had three wishes they would be . . .
“A cure for all cancers. For every child to have a loving, caring and supportive family. I’m going to be greedy and take one for myself — have my dream job.”
And what is that?
“Have my own little coffee/cupcake shop.”