Inside ECS: Heidi Pawling, Woodland Elementary

“What can we do to help you and your child?”

Heidi Pawling, head secretary at Woodland Elementary, has focused her job around this initiative: helping children and their parents in any way she can, by being proactive and involved. Whether it be a wake up phone call or an individual plan with a teacher, Pawling is an integral part of supporting every student and family at Woodland.

Pawling has worked at Woodland for 12 years and in her current role for one year. Previously in Special Education, her experience in education is fueled by her passion for the students and their growth and personal safety within the learning environment.

“I wanted to help children from underprivileged environments feel supported and loved for at least six-and-a-half hours a day,” said Pawling.

Throughout her years at Woodland, Pawling has witnessed many touching moments, one in particular standing out, encompassing both her passion, and her surrounding staff’s.

“When I was teaching, there was a family of children who needed us,” said Pawling. “We started to notice that they were showing up very late and were having trouble learning. Their needs were not being met at home. CPS (Child Protective Services) had removed the children from their situation. Some of our staff members worked with CPS to open their homes to these children, and over the next few months, they grew immensely. To see those children grow and flourish was unforgettable and seeing the compassion of our staff in the way that they immediately stepped in to help was amazing.”

This connection with her staff has been defining in her time at Woodland. The support and love felt from each person being another “perk” of her job.

“Every person supports the other,” said Pawling. “We’re more like a family than we are coworkers. I think everyone here would say that. Without the support of the staff, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

In her free time, Pawling enjoys exercising, cheering on the Green Bay Packers, and spending time with her family, including her newly married daughter.

Heidi is currently reading: “Two by Two” by Nicholas Sparks, his newest book.