For more than a third of a century, Sherree “The Great” Apocotos has been greeting Meneley Elementary School children when they arrive, and some of their children, too.
After 34 years at the school, Apocotos is retiring.
“Sherree has a great deal of institutional knowledge about the staff, families and students,” Principal Blaine Spires said. “Over the years, she has made it a priority to build relationships to connect with students and families. She is one of the reasons why Meneley is a five-heart school.”
Apocotos arrived at Meneley as a playground aide, only eight years after the Gardnerville Ranchos school opened in 1980 as the first new elementary school in Carson Valley in more than a half century.
“She began her career as a playground aide, teacher’s aide and ultimately the registrar,” Spires, who is young enough to have attended Meneley during her tenure, said. “Over the course of these positions, she learned the ins and outs of CC Meneley.”
Roughly a decade prior to her arrival at the school, she worked production at The Record-Courier, where her name shows up in the staff box between September 1977 and August 1978.
Less than a year later, she had daughter Devanee, who was immortalized in an award-winning zucchini casserole dish in a Cooperative Extension recipe contest.
Spires said that deep background as the school’s registrar is irreplaceable.
“She still picks up the phone to make attendance calls every morning because nothing can replace a family knowing the school misses their child,” he said.
Apocotos is known for her zingers, which Spires said have been taken down to make sure her sense of humor won’t be soon forgotten.
Spires said the entire school staff wishes her well in retirement.
“We are excited for her to enjoy her backyard, pool and family, but we will miss not having her in the office every day.”
Douglas High School Registrar Anita Ovard will spend her last week mailing out transcripts of graduates to colleges.
“I have been blessed to love everything about the last 27 years at Douglas High School, but I know that it’s time to let someone else have this awesome experience,” she said. “There hasn’t been a day that I’ve not been excited to walk through the front doors and greet a new day with a new experience and especially with the students.”
Ovard said six of her 13 grandchildren live in the Valley and that the oldest will be a freshman at Douglas High in the fall.
Apocotos and Ovard are among nearly two-score retirements from the Douglas County School District this year.
Many of the retirees work behind the scenes at the schools, like Gardnerville secretary Sandi Gonzales, who was the school’s classified employee of the year in 2005.
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