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Staff spotlight: Maple Grove Senior High School’s Mona Preston

While walking into Maple Grove Senior High School (MGSH), staff, students and visitors alike are instantly greeted with a “good morning” and a smile. That is thanks to Mona Preston, who has worked at MGSH for 24 years. 

“I am a people person. I love trying to make people’s day and helping people. I am here to just help in any way that I can. It’s in my nature to just help and keep people moving.” Preston said.

Preston, who works the front entryway desk, is the first person you talk to when you arrive at or call the school. She also coordinates students who arrive late or leave early. To many, her desk is the hub of the school and a place where they can start their day off on a happy note. 

“I love that I am able to see so many different people and make a difference for kids every day when they walk in the building. You just never know how they are walking in in the morning, and so I try to be positive and give them a positive start to their day.” Preston said.

Preston has worn many hats and helped out in many different ways around the school. She has worked in the halls, been the study hall supervisor, headed the spirit counsel, which plans dances, pep fests and homecoming, and been the prom coordinator. 

At the front desk, she greets everyone who walks in with a “good morning” and a “have a good day.” Preston takes the time to get to know the students, and it is evident in the way they interact with her.

“It’s so funny, because even sometimes before I can say good morning to the students they say it to me first,” Preston said. “That’s awesome because then I know that I am making a good impact.”

Preston’s main focus is making sure that everyone always feels welcome and safe. Besides answering the phones and helping students get where they need to be, she is responsible for working the front entry system, making sure no unauthorized visitors have access to the building.

One of Preston’s favorite things about working at MGSH is the great staff she gets to work with. She sets a goal for herself each year to meet every staff member and build a relationship with them, even the newest ones, so that they feel comfortable coming to her if they need anything.

“The staff are so committed to their students. They are so caring. They understand that every student has a story and they all try their best to be there for the students and listen to them.”

“It was such a joy to interact with Mona when I visited MGSH. She greeted me with a warm, friendly energy and spirit. She took the time to see how I was doing and introduce herself.  It was such a pleasant interaction and really changed my entire mood walking into the school. Mona is a true gift and beautiful spirit!” said Vanessa Gill, Family and Community Engagement Coordinator. 

When Preston is not coordinating all of the happenings at MGSH, you can find her spending time with her children, who both graduated from MGSH in 2003 and 2005, and her grandchildren, one of whom attends MGSH currently. She also enjoys riding her bike, being outside, gardening, reading and word searches.