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Broadleigh's Robbie Banks Named Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators Secretary of the Year

women holding plaque and flowers together

April 24, 2024 – There was a traffic jam in the hallways of Broadleigh Elementary School. The cause of the delay? A line of students pausing their steps to give congratulatory hugs to Robbie Banks, the school’s secretary. 

Banks was named the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators (OAESA) Secretary of the Year. The designation was announced at woman and student hugging a school-wide assembly, and students were ecstatic for their secretary. 

This is Banks’ seventh year at Broadleigh, and she was honored by the amount of love she received from the students as she accepted her award. 

“I don’t have any kids of my own, so all three hundred students are mine,” Banks said. “It’s the students that drive me.”

Banks’ dedication to the students is evident from the moment you meet her, and it’s something that parents who come to the building respect. Along with building connections with the students, Banks works to ensure she is someone their parents can rely on. 

One parent emailed Broadleigh’s office to praise Banks’ work and the relationships she builds. The parent commended Banks for her ability to make people feel comfortable, saying that she always makes visitors to the building feel welcome and valued. 

Dr. Kristy Leigh, Broadleigh’s principal, echoes this sentiment. 

“Ms. Banks goes above and beyond for the students, families, and staff. She is always thinking about others,” Dr. Leigh said. “She is the heartbeat of our school.”

One of Banks’ priorities is helping students start their day with a positive outlook. As the school’s secretary, Banks is often one of the first people students see when they arrive at Broadleigh. She wants to create a welcoming environment for students in hopes that the positivity will transfer to the classroom and stay with them throughout their day. 

“I am the first person they see, so I feel like I can make an impact on how their day is going to go,” Banks said. “I always greet them when they come in and make them feel welcome and good about their day.” 

By making the office a welcoming place, Banks creates a safe environment for students to share anything they need to. Banks said students often don’t feel comfortable sharing certain things with their families or teachers, and she wants to be someone they know they can come to with anything. 

“I always step in… to be a listening ear. I let the students know this is a safe space,” Banks said. “I let them speak their minds and be their authentic selves.”

When she was announced as the Secretary of the Year, Banks said she was thrilled. The staff at Broadleigh suggested she be honored and spoke on her behalf to OAESA. Banks is proud to work with the staff at Broadleigh, and she is touched to know that they’re proud to work with her, too. 

“I’m honored to think that this was in the works [without me knowing,]” she said. “I’m so grateful. To have this award… I don’t even have the words. I just show up and be myself, and it makes me feel like I’m doing something right.”

Power of One

Priority 1 - Whole Child FocusedPriority 2 - Equitable Opportunities for AllPriority 3 - Strong Learning Communities in Every RegionPriority 4 - Authentic Engagement