Michelle and Casidy

            Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Tom and Jerry, Bert and Ernie, Batman and Robin…these are some legendary dynamic duos in our culture. At Licking R-VIII School District, we have a dynamic duo in Michelle King and Casidy Huff, administrative assistants in the elementary office. Easily recognizable by their friendly smiles and caring voices, these ladies are instrumental in smooth operation of the elementary building, and they are celebrated this month as January Spotlight Staff Members!

                Mrs. Michelle King graduated from Licking High School in 2000 and took classes at East Central College in Rolla after graduation. Mrs. King worked at Rinne’s Station for nearly 11 years (8 as full time manager) before starting her position in Licking Elementary in 2016. Mrs. Casidy Huff is also a Licking High School graduate from 2010. After high school, Mrs. Huff took college courses at Missouri State University in West Plains. Mrs. Huff provided in-home daycare service for five years prior to starting as a paraprofessional at Licking Elementary. After approximately three years, Mrs. Huff transferred into her position as administrative assistant.

                Having experience as Licking students and now being adult members of the community has been very helpful to both Mrs. King and Mrs. Huff. “We are familiar with important traditions and routines, and we have connections with the public so we can help partner with parents on safety plans, students’ developmental needs, and special circumstances,” said Mrs. King and Mrs. Huff. Because of their connections to local families, both professionals regularly work beyond their job descriptions taking care of individuals. “We’re blessed to have the opportunity to come in and work with these kids each day, and it’s very rewarding to see every child grow each day,” both ladies commented.

                When asked if Mrs. King met any surprises when she started as administrative assistant, she reflected, “I was surprised by the atmosphere here. Our employees form a close knit group that works really well as a team. Everyone is welcoming and reaches out to care for one another.” Mrs. King continued, “I love seeing our students every day – getting hugs and receiving students’ affection makes the busyness of the day worth it!”

                Mrs. Huff also thought about surprises, rewards and challenges working as an administrative assistant. “I knew it would be hectic when I started,” she said. “I was surprised how intense bus times can be. Making sure we manage each of our parenting plans correctly -- and ensuring all 400 students arrive at just the right place each day weighs heavily on my mind,” Mrs. Huff added. “Being close to these children is the best part of the job, though,” Mrs. Huff said.

                Mrs. King and Mrs. Huff balance responsibilities in the office which makes them such a successful team. Both hard workers, Mrs. King and Mrs. Huff communicate regularly and remind one another about important updates. “Mrs. King handles the purchase orders, ordering supplies, and finding substitutes for teachers,” Mrs. Huff said. “I work closely with the teachers, manage enrollment, and connect with the public on transportation needs,” she added. Mrs. King is in the office from 7 AM- 5 PM, and Mrs. Huff works from 7 AM – 4 PM. Mrs. Huff extends her day coaching junior high volleyball and cheerleading. “Coaching is LOTS of fun and very rewarding,” Mrs. Huff commented. A cheerleader herself for approximately nine years, Mrs. Huff enjoys reliving some incredible experiences and allowing young people to have fun like she did.

                Both Mrs. King and Mrs. Huff are proud of their families. Mrs. King has been married for 10 years to Mr. Jason King. She is the daughter of Patty Long and Larry Johnson who were married 27 years before Mr. Johnson passed. Mrs. King is proud mother of Dakota King, age 22, who now works for MODOT; Dakota Decker, age 19, who works at BSN in Rolla and is enrolled in courses through MSU West Plains; and Allie, age 16, a sophomore who is interested in tennis, softball, and volleyball, and enjoys helping others.            Mrs. Huff is the daughter of James and Karen Miller. Mrs. Miller has worked for Licking R-VIII School District for several years, and Mr. Miller is retired from over 20 years of preaching. Mrs. Huff has been married to Mr. John Huff for five years, and she is proud stepmother of Parker, age 12, and Penelope, age 10. “We also have our family members Fang (a Sheltie), Luna (a Golden Doodle), and our cats Hedwig and Pigwidgeon,” Mrs. Huff added with a smile.

                Both Mrs. King and Mrs. Huff look forward to continuing service with Licking R-VIII School District, and they are important members of shared decision making teams. “We are hopeful about future growth for the district and hopefully new facilities someday,” Mrs. King and Mrs. Huff responded. Clearly, day to day operations at Licking Elementary would not be as smooth without Mrs. King and Mrs. Huff. “They definitely keep our office functioning, they take their jobs very seriously, and they know where each of our 400 students should be each day,” Mrs. Thrasher said. “We couldn’t do without Mrs. King and Mrs. Huff!” For these reasons, Licking R-VIII School District is proud to present Mrs. Michelle King and Mrs. Casidy Huff as January Spotlight Staff Members!