Shelby deJong, staff writer
The Main office of New Paltz High school, often bustling with action and commotion, was relatively quiet on Wednesday afternoon, as classes ticked to a close. The time for the afternoon announcements to filter through the intercom of every classroom was drawing near.
Annie Delongis, one of the high school secretaries and the star of the announcements, was tucked away in her office, waiting for the alarm to ring on her phone, signaling the time for her to turn on the microphone. Although the students of NPHS hear the voice of Delongis daily, many of them might not be able to put a name or face to the voice.
Delongis sits in a rolling office chair, wearing a pair of black slacks and a gray sweater, silvery hair in her signature bob, her bangs swept gently to the side. She brings levity to the community of NPHS, her cheery voice permeating the halls of the highschool at the end of every school day.
“I’m just trying to bring something positive to someone else’s day. That’s what I try to do all day long,” says Delongis when asked how she always sounds so joyful on the announcements. “Even when I have my own stuff going on, and I could be in a bad mood, I try to keep all that to myself.”
After being in the main office for five years, Delongis has adjusted to her end of day duty. Although she claims she may still get nervous every day, Delongis sometimes catches herself being casual when addressing the student body.
“I feel like I’m talking on the telephone instead of making announcements here,” Delongis confesses. “I forget that I’m not on the telephone. Sometimes I even say ‘okay bye!’”
Delongis always wanted to work as a secretary ever since she was young, acting on this dream as soon as she got out of High School by working for and traveling with big corporations.
“I like helping people. I like helping and solving problems.”Delongis said when asked why she was so set on her path.
Even after nearly a decade in the district, Delongis still finds joy in her work. She says NPHS was the school she always wanted to end up at when she started off. Having family in the building, like her nephews Luke and Jack Dunphy, always betters her day to day work experience. Delongis is close with her family and values them above all. She knows and trusts them more than anyone.
“They’re my go to people.” Delongis elaborates. “They’re my network.”
Delongis especially enjoys her time in the main office because there is never a dull moment. She describes her time in the office as hectic and chaotic stating, “There’s always something different. It’s not the same every single day.”
Delongis has always loved being around children. Growing up as the third of seven kids, she loved to help her mother with the others, shaping her career choices later in life. Delongis even was a licensed daycare provider owning her own daycare business after her time in the corporate world, before working for the district.
“I know this [job], and I know kids,” Delongis says, in relation to her work in offices. “I like making money where I like being. I like coming in every day.”
But things may not always be easy. After a lifetime full of reflection, Delongis has learned to reckon with the parts of her that aren’t perfect.
“I accept the things about me now, at this point in my life, that I’m not great at,” Delongis states. “I’m always a work in progress, that’s how I look at it.”
Delongis tries not to let the little things get to her, and when she is faced with greater issues, she knows she has people in her life to turn to. Throughout her time reflecting and creating lifelong memories, Delongis has found what is most she finds most valuable, one of the most influential experiences being when she became a mother.
“It made me look at myself, it made me grow up,” Delongis admits. “You realize you’re not doing things just for yourself. That was probably the best moment.”