As a young girl living in Peru, Gladys Erdmannsdorfer’s mother took godchildren into her home who were in need, helping them with groceries, babysitting, transporting their children to school, or whatever else she could do to assist. Gladys never forgot those kind and generous gestures. Indeed, that cooperative virtue became an integral part of her character. From those early lessons, she realized she loved to help others who might need a little assistance.
As a Family Liaison within the district, primarily working with the London Middle School strand – which includes Field, Riley and Tarkington Elementary Schools – Gladys assists parents with a variety of needs. “It’s a multifaceted position that can include anything from helping fill out confusing financial and government forms to setting up student medical appointments to translating IEPs to securing referrals for students with more serious needs,” said Gladys. “I connect parents with resources to make their life a little easier so they and their students can be more successful.” And she’s been doing it for over 16 years. Also, as a Family Liaison she is part of the organization of the Monthly Educational Workshop for the parents in our District.
Recently, Gladys worked with a single mother of two students. The mother was struggling financially and Gladys helped her fill out paperwork for government aid. Shortly after, the family needed more aid and Gladys was able to connect the mother with local churches who gave the family additional support. Gladys also helped the woman create a budget and had the hard conversation with her that she needed to make some lifestyle changes. In the end, the mother and children are doing better and keep in touch with Gladys on a regular basis. “It’s so rewarding to know that I played a small part in supporting this family,” said Gladys. “That’s why I love what I do… and I love working for District 21. The people here are so smart, kind and supportive.”
For all the support and strength she gives to families, we are fortunate to have her compassion and ability within our district, helping others in their time of need.