Rhea Androy, an employee of Westwood Unified School District since 1990, looks forward to retirement.  Photo by Susan Cort Johnson

Rhea Androy retires from Westwood Unified School District

Monday morning, Nov. 4, Rhea Androy will not be awakened by an alarm clock at 6 a.m. to get ready for work. She plans to sleep in — one of the pleasures of retirement she has been looking forward to. Her last day as secretary/registrar for the Westwood Unified School District is Nov. 1. She has worked for the district since August 1990.

The job from which she is retiring is not her first position with the district. During the 1990/1991 school year, she was a teacher’s aide assisting Mary Ann Mayne, a teacher at Fletcher Walker Elementary. She worked in the classrooms of five elementary teachers before transferring to the high school as Associated Student Body bookkeeper and office clerk in 1996.

Androy said when her youngest of three children entered school, she decided to apply for a job with the district to see what her children were doing. She now sees her three grandchildren each day at school and will miss their daily hugs. They represent the third generation to attend Westwood schools. Androy went through elementary grades at Fletcher Walker and graduated from Westwood High in 1972.

When the elementary and high schools merged onto one campus in 2013, Jenny West did the secretarial duties for Fletcher Walker and Androy for Westwood High. After West retired, the work for both schools was split by tasks with Androy overseeing records and monies for the high school and elementary school and Connie Theobald, who was hired for West’s position, taking care of attendance and lunches for all students. Her job changed in recent years due to the school district’s decline in enrollment.

Since Androy grew up in Westwood, her family moving to the community in August 1961, she is familiar with the changes that have occurred. During her childhood there were more kids in Westwood and more for kids to do, she said. There was a two-lane bowling alley in town and another at the Highway 36 Y. Also there was an arcade. But children played together as well, outside until the streetlights came on, which was the signal they needed to go home.

Working for the school district was not Androy’s first career. After high school graduation she attended Morris Goatly’s Beauty College in Oroville, completing the 1,500 hours required for the program in a year. In the mid-seventies she used her skills working at Mystic Mirror in Susanville for a couple of months. Also she worked at a hair salon in Westwood at the corner of Ash and Third Streets eventually owning her own shop she called Rhea’s Cuts & Curls.

She discovered big city living was not for her after living for a few months in Concord in the Bay Area with her husband, Charlie, whom she married in 1974. The couple did move from Westwood one more time for work in Vancouver, Washington, but when Androy became pregnant with their first child, they moved back to be close to family.

“I like the littleness of Westwood; it is not on a freeway where you have to go up and down and over. I like the people in the town, although I do not know as many as I used to,” said Androy.

The one thing she dislikes is the winter snow. Although she loved to play in it as a child. As an adult she does not like driving in snow or clearing it following a storm. For that reason Androy and her husband hope to move to Oregon in the future. However, their next home will not be in a big city.

Until that time the couple plans to fish together during retirement, a sport both she and her husband enjoy. Androy fished in Lake Almanor and the streams around Westwood during her childhood and even received a rod and reel as her eighth-grade graduation present. They will also use the trailer they purchased a year ago for recreational camping. A favorite location is the Hat Creek Rancheria campground where cell and Internet service are unavailable. At this campground there is time to read books and do puzzles.

Although there is much to look forward to, she will miss the camaraderie of her co-workers and the students at Westwood Unified.