Meet Jackie Labadie
Great Hearts Academies February 27, 2023 -
“I started by volunteering in the school a lot.” Jackie Labadie’s two children both graduated from Veritas Prep. It was when her second child graduated that Jackie decided to get back into the workforce. “I thought, ‘apply to what you love,’ and I love Great Hearts. So, I applied here, and the rest is history,” she said with a chuckle. Jackie has worked for Great Hearts for over 12 years and serves at the home office as receptionist and office manager.
Jackie has shared the position with her colleague and friend, Silvina Horvath, over the past eight years. They each work part-time and “job share” the position working opposite days with one common day together, typically on Wednesdays. They keep a shareable document to communicate everything that is happening each day so the transition from one of them working to the other is seamless.
“We are such a good team that I can’t imagine working with anyone else in a job like this,” said Silvina. Besides greeting guests and answering phones, they directly support over 185 staff members (and counting). Jackie describes her position as being “a jack-of-all-trades.”
“There is such great variety in this job. No two days are the same,” said Jackie. The “laundry list” of responsibilities and hats the two of them wear is exhaustive, from maintaining crucial documents to recording deposits, onboarding new home office staff, setting up meetings, or helping a colleague figure out the copy machine. Any problem that arises, Jackie is willing to help, and always with a smile on her face. “I recently helped someone in the office with a broken shoe.” But no matter how tedious or menial the task may seem, Jackie feels her job helps productivity within the organization. She says she loves the people she works with, and it shows in the way she handles any request throughout the day.
Jackie says a greater purpose keeps her motivated in her job. “It’s doing something greater than we are – helping our children, not just my personal children, but all the children [who] receive a fantastic education that is well-rounded.” Her motivation also stems from a place of gratitude. “I am so grateful as a parent, watching how prepared my children were for college and grad school, because of what they learned during their time at Great Hearts, and for that, I am forever grateful. When someone does something like that for your child, you are forever grateful.”
Jackie’s love for her family is abundantly apparent to anyone who meets her. She is a native Phoenician, born and raised. Jackie’s daughter lives in Houston with her husband and two children. Her son lives here with his wife and their 3 three children. Her granddaughter will be starting school at Great Hearts in the fall. She divides her time off between spending time with her grandchildren and visiting her parents, who still live in the home she grew up in, only two miles from where she and her husband of almost 40 years live. “We all spend a lot of time together. It is always family. My hobbies are my family!” The few times that Jackie’s house is empty, which is not often, Jackie enjoys baking and gardening. However, she seems to enjoy the house full of family to quiet time with these hobbies.
It’s Jackie’s love for family is part of what keeps her at Great Hearts. “This is a very family-oriented organization,” she said. “Everyone here understands the importance of family and we all feel like a big family.” You can tell these are more than just words as you watch Jackie’s eyes light up when she talks about her co-workers. “I love my job, and I truly work with the greatest people.”
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