Lined up across the track, faculty and students decked out in Hawaiian shirts and leis prepared for the first pep rally of the year. This was no ordinary pep rally, however. Amongst the normal cheerleading routines and pep rally games, Maclay celebrated Administrative Assistant Debbie Tackett’s retirement and gave her one last good-bye from the Maclay community. 

Tackett officially retired on Sep. 3 after 25 years of hard work and service as the administrative assistant and upper school receptionist. Her celebratory pep rally was during homeroom out on Frank Shaw Field on the same day. Tackett walked out onto the field as 400 plus people cheered for her. She was handed a bouquet of 25 roses representing each of her years at Maclay, and received several gift cards and gift baskets as well.

“My favorite thing about Mrs. Tackett was her ability to understand my ebb-and-flow,” Upper School Director Charles Beamer said. “Because she knew me, she helped to keep me organized, which kept me from missing a beat.”

Tackett has been at Maclay longer than the seniors who have been at the school their whole lives. She has seen the multiple changes Maclay has undergone and has excelled at her job. One of the changes she experienced was the construction of the new Beck Family Innovation Center (BFIC). This new building is where she and the front desk moved to, as her old longtime office turned into the current nurse’s office. Tackett also watched many of the Maclay upper school students grow up, including junior Abby Rubenstein who has been at Maclay her whole life. 

“She always helped me whenever I needed to check in or out of school,” Rubenstein said. “She was always so sweet and nice when she greeted me. There could not have been a better lady for the job.”

Every Monday through Friday you would find Tackett in her office ready to welcome students and faculty into the upper school. If students were late, they would check in with Tackett who handled all of the attendances. If a student had an unexcused or excused absence, she would sign them in and hand them a paper slip to be passed on to the teacher. She would also answer phone calls from parents and help teachers with the proposed issue. After 25 years of hard work and dedication, Tackett has retired and Nella Dickens will take over. 

“What I will miss most about Maclay is chatting with students and faculty daily and having the opportunity to help make their day better,” Tackett said. “Now that I’m retired I’m hoping to sleep late, travel more and be able to visit friends and family in other areas more often.”


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