Nola Raymond

Technology & Data Specialist

Retirement: Spring, 2017

Learn more about Nola!

Where did you grow up?
Plymouth, MN for 19 years, then on Lake Sarah until I was married and then we build a house in Greenfield until present

What High School did you graduate from?
Wayzata High School, class of 1970 (104 students in graduating class)

Where did you attend college?
North Hennepin Community College, 2 year secretarial program funded by the Federal government

What does a data specialist do?
Whatever Peter/John ask me to do because they are great and I love my job!  I work with a GREAT team.

• Setting up Assessment testing schedules for MCAs, NWEA MAP testing & FAST and   managing same systems during testing
• Setting up SPED accommodations for all testing
• Ordering of tests from MDE, ACT and WIDA
• Entering MDE GRR for ACT reimbursement
• Entering paper/pencil tests into testing software
• Pretest and posttest editing in Test WES
• Adding new enrollments as needed for MCAs & WIDA
• Setting up testing sessions and reporting groups in PearsonAccess NEXT
• Adding proctor and reporting users
• Working with staff for testing make-ups
• Help with testing session training for proctors
• Answering any testing questions
• Working with tech staff on testing computers/chromebooks/rooms availability and      scheduling in FMX
• Setting up databases for student software systems including EOY processing,   including: Enrolling new students into grade appropriate software systems,
setting up usernames/passwords for new students and maintaining the spreadsheet   for all students, Active Directory, Google accounts, Campus Users, administering COGNOS by adding transcripts for new students, administering HOLT, Naviance, connectED, Pearson Success, Study Island, Think Central, Triand, etc.
• Staff support with testing and data questions
• MN Common Course Catalog calendar setup
• Building/updating the district assessment testing calendar each school year for            posting to curriculum website
• Pull ad hocs from SIS for Lifetouch photos and upload to SIS and Destiny

Have you always worked with technology? How many years have you been doing this job? How many years have you been an employee at Rockford Area Schools?
I began my 883 career in 1986 as a volunteer parent in the technology room at RMS for my cousin, John Burg. He wanted me to straighten out the software curriculum and make duplicates of the same software onto big floppys using Apple computers.  He taught me how to use a computer and then I was hooked!  We bought a PS2 computer for home and I taught myself Word Perfect.  I started substituting as a secretary in the DO for Georgina and Judy and at the RMS media center for Sue Johnson.  Also did a short time substituting for MAWSEO at RES.  In the 1988-89 school year I took the long-term sub secretarial position in the HS office and I loved it.  In 1990 I was hired to work in the High School because there was this new directive of MARSS reporting (on computers using DOS & Osiris) from the MDE.  My responsibilities were attendance, discipline reporting, MARSS reporting for the whole district, district secretarial support and HS nurse. I did this 12 years.  In 2002 when the district completed the new REAMS building and remodeled the HS office and because of limited space in the HS office, I was moved to REAMS…I still did most of the same work.  In 2005-2006, budget cuts put me back in the HS for one year. The district, in the 2006-2007 school year, added a tech department and I was selected to join this team as an ES tech para by Jamie Madson.  This job was so much fun and so up my alley.  I learned so much more about MAC computers.  I enjoyed helping the elementary students and staff with the software and it was a great place to work.  I did this until the end of 2011 school year when the district changed the tech department, hiring full time tech staff.  I was moved back to the HS in my same old position of attendance/MARSS secretary for the 2011-2012 school year only.  At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year I was contacted by Sandy to see if I would like to move into the tech department (heck YES) and I have been there until today.  It has been a wonderful rollercoaster and I have loved my 27 years as an employee of 883 along with the volunteer/substitute positions for 3 years for a total of 30 years! I have been thankful to work for the most amazing people!  John Burg, John Headley, Allen Moen, Ave Beaupre, Marie Flanary, Brenda Petersmeyer, Jamie Madson, Kevin Neff, Paul Durand, Sandy Strozyk, Amy Denneson and now with John Engel, Peter Grimm, Dan Madson and Tess Stavlo–to name a few.  These years went by too FAST!  I have mixed feelings about leaving but my family doesn’t!

I have been blessed to have a wonderful and supportive family.  Rick, my husband, was very patient with the 11 years of late night sports events that I worked, home and away games, along with my chaperoning of choir trips.  He is retiring at the end of July after 45 years at Baldwin Supply Company. Our two children, Alison & Jacob, had a well-rounded education and each participated in 3 sports per year, choir, band and musicals. Alison is a teacher at DeLaSalle for 15+ years and Jake works for Best Buys’ Geek Squad at Children’s Hospital. Their spouses, Brett and Rose, have truly blessed our family. They blessed me with 4 grandchildren, Sydney (10), Laila (8), Nolan (4) & Owen (4).  I love being their “Nana”.  This Mother’s day I was given a wine glass that said, “My grandkids call me Nana because I am too cool to be called Gramma”. 

What do you look most forward to everyday at Rockford? What will you miss
Daily, I look forward to my job and office, the staff, the software and all the student data.  I get excited when someone asks me for reports or any help at all!  I love data entry.  I will miss working with John, Peter, Dan, Tess and my PC.  I will miss learning more about the technology which has grown so much in my years here…so fascinating for me.

What is one of your most memorable moments in your career?
FUNNY—(so inappropriate for today but back then not so much) During one of the Sno-week events, Mr. Shackelford & I were selected by the students to be in a mock coronation.  Shack was dressed in Zubaz/tie-dyed shirt holding a huge (5’) Super Soaker gun and I was a pig-tailed pregnant teenager.  It was so embarrassing that I promised I would never do that again and I didn’t.

NOT SO FUNNY—a student brought into the high school a machetti hidden in his leather jacket. A teacher told this student to bring it to the office and the student pulled it out of his jacket and handed it to me.  The principal at the time took it from me and told the student to pick it up at the end of the day…WOW!

AND last year I was recognized with a Star Acheivement Award!  Thank you Rockford School Board!

What are your plans when you retire?
I have been fortunate to get to spend my summers at our lake cabin on Ossawinnamakee in the Pequot Lakes area with my whole family and am looking forward to spending lots of time with my grandbabies.  Rick and I plan on traveling after a summer at the cabin and we are very excited about our new adventures in retirement!  Our retirement present to ourselves is a riverboat cruise down the Rhine River starting in Amsterdam in September and in February, 2018 we are heading back to Jamaica for our 13th trip to Sandals.

1990-91                                 2016-17