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By Jesse Utz 

Gems in the Coulee: Sheila Darnold

Jess Shut Up


If you know her, then you already know she goes way beyond what an average secretary does. If you don’t, then you have not had a child go through the school system in the last, well, a lot of years. Sheila Darnold’s work ethic is beyond superb. Sick, 15-hour days, and stress beyond imagine are things she suffers from and yet still shows up just about every day. She will tell you she is not “Super Woman,” but every administrator that has ever worked with her will argue with her about that. She is, and that is why she is a “Gem in the Coulee.” But that is not even scratching the surface of this remarkable lady.

It does not matter who you are in the building. Principal, custodian, teacher, para or student — you go to her for help and advice and she always comes through. She could be knee deep in a report that must be done in the next hour, but if you go to her for help, she jumps on it and then gets back to her task. More than one person says, “She is the glue that holds LR together.”

Many things over the years have been attached to her name: ASB, dance squad, cheerleading, Athletics Director, and others over the years. But if you were to ask her what title she most covets, I would bet she would make it a three-way tie between wife, mother and grandmother.

I have seen the love she pours over her husband, Gary, for many years. They are a testimony to true and long-lasting love. Oh, and after she puts in one of those long, grueling days at work, she jumps in the Charger with Gary and heads halfway across the state to watch a grandchild run a race or play a little league game. It is impressive. A day does not go by where she brags a little bit about one of them.

But I think through it all — all the work, the stress, the walking, the doctors, the children and grandchildren — something remarkable happens. Something that I think I will always admire her for and strive to be like someday. Plain and simple, her heart is for the kids here at LR. I have seen her help, assist, give opportunities, love on, build up and support more students at LR than maybe anyone else. From little things to big, she is always there for each student and their individual needs. Just like she is there for her boss, her husband, her own flesh and blood, and for staff, she is there for each single student as well. A student can be having the worst day and she makes it better. A student can be on the verge of a meltdown in life and she lifts them back up. From a tassel to a box of coffee, she knows just how to brighten a day. A word of encouragement or a word of correction, she gets the job done.

I have personally received from this great lady like hundreds of others have too. And if there is a glue that holds us all together at Lake Roosevelt, it is Mrs. Darnold. So thank you, Mrs. D, for just being you and for pouring into our kiddos over the years. That is why you are a Gem in the Coulee.

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