We all have this in common: memories of our childhood in school.
"I was first and second in there, third and fourth in there," Dora Spaulding said. "I remember sitting way over here."
For Dora, it was eight fulfilling years in Norwich. She was the shortest in her class, but a large presence in the classroom. One of her favorite teachers was Marion Cross, who also was the principal. Miss Cross sometimes had to leave the classroom.
Dora Spaulding: Guess who she left in charge.
Reporter Joe Carroll: You?
Dora Spaulding: Me!
Perhaps a sign of things to come.
"Well, I keep the teachers in line now, not the students," Dora said.
For almost 50 years the school of her youth has also been Dora's place of employment. She does payroll, purchase orders and personnel, keeping check of teachers' attendance.
Joe Carroll: You're kind of a big deal here.
Dora Spaulding: I'm not a big deal, but I'm kind of busy!
Dora is the administrative assistant to the principal-- she's on her 11th.
The school is now called the Marion Cross School, named after that principal from so many years ago. The school has expanded, now there are over 300 students.
"I think they like me," Dora said, "I really do. Yeah."
And it's not just the students who are impressed with Mrs. Spaulding.
"We love her. She's remarkable, one of a kind," teacher Lisa Holley said.
"She's the glue to the school, she really is," teacher Rick Newton said.
Dora and her husband, Fred, had four kids go through the school in the middle of the village.
It's a special day for Dora because it's her birthday. She's turning 82.
Joe Carroll: Why is she special to you?
Faith Timmons/Third-Grader: Because she's been here for a long time and I want to appreciate that.
The kids make the cards; the teachers bring the cake.
Joe Carroll: So what kind of cake do we have here?
Dora Spaulding: I think it's Oreo cookie cake.
Joe Carroll: What does the school mean to you?
Dora Spaulding: It means a lot.
So much so, that Dora has signed on to come back next year.
Joe Carroll: How do you keep so skinny?
Dora Spaulding: Running around the halls!
The graduate of the class of '48 still has the step of her youth. It proves you can have you cake and eat it, too.
"Happy Birthday!" children called.
But the greatest gifts are the kids.
For her birthday, the teachers made Dora a crown out of pencils because she's also the keeper of supplies.
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