Grayslake Elementary District 46 Superintendent Ellen Correll's secretary is expected to be away from her job for a year to serve her country.
Lourie Ann Shipley of Round Lake is fulfilling her obligation to a U.S. Army Reserve unit. She was sent last week to Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in Hattiesburg, Miss.
Correll said Shipley, who joined District 46 in June 2009, was given a choice of serving in Afghanistan or Mississippi. Shipley picked the Mississippi post where she's processing paperwork for soldiers who are headed overseas.
"Personally, Lourie will be missed not only by me, but also by the board," Correll said. "She has been my 'right hand man.'"
Shipley's military orders state that her active duty began Nov. 2 and will continue for a year. However, the Army has the option of releasing her early or extending her reserve service beyond 365 days.
District 46 board President Ray Millington complimented Shipley's work for the school system. Karen Senase, a secretary at Woodview School in Grayslake, will handle Shipley's tasks while she's away.
"Lourie provided a stabilizing influence for our board," Millington said. "Her experience with procedural details helped us avoid mistakes. Lourie worked long hours as our superintendent's secretary as well as the school board secretary, which involved late hours at all of our school board meetings."
Opened in 1917 to support World War I mobilization in Southern Mississippi, Camp Shelby is used by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The camp where Shipley was sent also is a training site for the Defense Department, U.S. Forest Service and State Department.
Last year, Correll was lauded for her patriotism for helping Shipley join the Army Reserves. Shipley presented Correll with the Patriot Award from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
At the time, Shipley wrote a 500-word essay to the committee noting Correll's encouragement when she joined the Army Reserves so she could resume her military career on a part-time basis.
Millington said Shipley has been granted a temporary leave from Camp Shelby because her mother died Saturday and she's handling funeral arrangements in Michigan.