Every year, we are honoured to recognize members of the SMUS community as they retire and take on new adventures. Read the 2019 Retirees series to learn more about their outstanding contributions to the school. In this story, we recognize Sharon Buckingham, former University Counselling administrative assistant.
Sharon Buckingham’s connection to SMUS is rooted in the people who make up the community.
She started in 2003 doing temporary reception at the Middle School. She went on to provide support to the Senior School reception desk, the finance department and the Admissions office, before becoming the administrative assistant to the University Counselling department. In her own words, “I booked a lot of appointments for students and university visits.” This past year, more than 100 universities graced SMUS to encourage application.
Although Sharon was employed at SMUS for 16 years, her association with the school extends more than 30 years. Her husband, Bill Buckingham, was a physics teacher, her two kids are alumni and her best friends are either still working at or recently retired from SMUS. The school has been both socially and professionally rewarding, she says.
“My job has evolved since I applied so many years ago,” she reflects, in reference to the increase in size and scope of the school. “There is so much more to do.”
Along with her administrative responsibilities, Sharon co-managed the Senior School Caring and Sharing Fund from 2011 to 2019. Caring and Sharing was established to reach out and acknowledge faculty and staff milestones and life events. If staff had to go to the hospital, or there was a birth, death or other significant event, they would send a card with a gift basket or gift certificate. It was a meaningful way to build the SMUS community with colleagues and for Sharon, “It’s a nice thing to do and it was fun.”
Administration was not Sharon’s initial path. With a degree in Marine Biology, she started her career “out in the sea, venturing up to the Arctic.” But following raising her kids at home, the transition to SMUS made sense and was really positive. “I love the people in my department,” she says. “They are a very fun group.”
Sharon’s near future includes puttering around the garden, taking advantage of being able to “go up-Island on a Wednesday” and hiking. She also started outrigger paddling seven years ago and is smitten – there will be much more of that.