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A familiar face at Perham schools retires: Lynn Lehman says she's 'really enjoyed' her 35 years at the front desk

Lehman has seen the Perham-Dent School District change and grow in many ways over the decades.

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Lynn Lehman's friendly face smiles at her desk behind her name tag for a few final days at Perham High School. (Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus)
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After over 35 years with Perham Public Schools, Administrative Assistant Lynn Lehman's time with the school district has come to an end. The longtime familiar face retired Dec. 22.

Lehman has seen the Perham-Dent School District change and grow in many ways over the decades.

"I see a lot of people come and go," Lehman said, sitting at the front desk on one of her last days before retirement and greeting people as they entered and left the building. "(Retiring) is sad, in a way, but I'm excited."

Born and raised in Perham, and a Perham High School graduate herself, Lehman has always helped out the district when it needed her. She even worked as an office aide for the schools in her high school years.

"Things have really changed," she said, thinking back on those early days. "When I started out, all three schools were in one building."

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From her years as a student to her years at the front desk, she watched technology and the Perham schools themselves change before her eyes.

She remembers when the high school switched from using typewriters to Microsoft Word to type up notes and memos. At first, she didn't understand how to use the program at all. Over time, however, the development of technology, and learning how to use it, improved efficiency in everything she did.

By greeting everyone who entered Perham High School, she got to know most of the community. Over the years, she said, she worked with about seven different principals and sat at about seven different office spaces.

"I looked today, and there are two teachers who've been here longer than me at the high school," she laughed. "I've really enjoyed my job and getting to know all the staff members. They get to be like family because they're here (with me) every day."

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Lynn Lehman sits at the front desk of Perham High School, one of seven desks she's had over her 35 years working. (Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus)

Retiring brought mixed emotions for Lehman, but she said she's ready to be a full-time grandparent. Her kids went to Perham High School, and soon her grandkids will go there, too. Lehman has 20 grandchildren — five of whom were born in the last year. Family has always been important to her, she said, so she's looking forward to looking after them.

Watching kids grow up is something her job allowed her to do again and again throughout the years, and it's been one of her favorite things.

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"Students go through the office, and you get to know them," Lehman said. "I got to watch a lot of kids grow up, especially at the high school level. It's always nice to see kids receiving their diplomas and the hard work they've put in… To see them walk across the stage — that's always nice."

Loving that part of her job so much, she played an active role in the annual Perham High School graduation ceremony for many years.

Lehman said she's so used to being busy and multitasking that the slower pace of retirement will be quite the change for her, but she has plans to travel to Florida with her sisters next month, and to work on scrapbooking, flower gardening and learning how to quilt.

She's grateful for her past 35 years with Perham High School, she said, and while retirement is bittersweet, she's looking forward to finally knocking everything off her bucket list.

Elizabeth (she/her), 23, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
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