April is the month to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day, and so, on behalf of all of us who depend upon the skill of our office staff, I share a message of genuine gratitude and appreciation. We all recognize that every member of a community college community plays a specific role in keeping the gears of both college and offices well-greased. However, one fundamental truth I have learned over the many years I have served as a community college professional is that none of us can do what we do without a dedicated team of administrative professionals supporting our efforts. Whether we teach, mow the lawn, oversee an academic department, or run the college, we depend on those who type, organize, interact with the public, keep the files, or keep us moving in the right direction.

This year on April 24, I hope each of us did something special to honor our assistants, bought flowers perhaps or organized a special lunch. But the larger meaning of this nationally designated day is likely intended to translate into a yearlong commitment to appreciation and respect to these colleagues. Although the community college sector is often sorely tested by funding pressures on a regular basis, the continued support, flexibility, endurance and persistence of our administrative staff so often helps us emerge from the dark and into the light. And when appreciation and respect are standard protocol in every office, we know we are all stronger for it and serve our students better.

The simple truth is that behind every good Administrator is a great Administrative Assistant! Each year, thousands of students enter our open doors, looking for opportunities that they may not find elsewhere. So, on behalf of all of us who depend on their services, I say thank you. We hope that you feel proud of the role that you play every single day, every single week, every single year, in helping to change the lives of our students.