By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Westfall Moves On From District Office
Retirement Ready
O Westfall
Beckie Westfall is shown smiling one final time at the counter she’s occupied for a decade. She has retired from her post at the Oakdale Joint Unified School District office. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

It’s a day she once hoped for, yet never truly saw coming. She’s had three separate tours with the Oakdale Joint Unified School District, but all good things do indeed come to an end.

After a decade of greetings issued via phone and to walk-in customers, Beckie Westfall has said her final “good morning,” “good afternoon” and “thank you” as a district employee.

“This is the job I had applied for a couple of times but didn’t get,” Westfall said of her tenure with Oakdale Joint Unified. “So when this job came available in March when I was still working at Fair Oaks, I applied and started working here that April.”

At the time of her transition, Westfall was working as a resource aide at Fair Oaks. In need of full time work and benefits, Westfall shared she knew she needed a different position, other than her six hours a day as a resource aide and wanted to stay within the district.

“I told them, this is where I want to retire from, this will be my last job,” she said of accepting the front office receptionist position.

“I just love my job,” she continued. “The only reason I’m retiring is because I’m past the age and I want to retire while I still feel good.”

She also enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and looks forward to having the opportunity to spend more free time with the five of them.

There are many things one might say about the pleasant nature Westfall has demonstrated from her front desk at the District Office. Her genuine smile, willingness to listen and assist parents, caregivers, as well as students is no act: it’s who she is. The retiree noted in her career, aside from her varying jobs with OJUSD she was also an Office Manager for a medical office. That was a position she worked up to, starting initially as a file clerk.

“Then I decided I didn’t like management,” she shared. “When I got this job I went back to what I love. I love being able to answer the phone or take the walk-ins with a smile on my face. I want to help. I love helping people. That’s what I love about my job.”

Providing help is something that seems to have come naturally, Westfall added.

“I think I’ve always loved helping people. I’m a people pleaser, but I like that about myself,” she continued. “I want everybody to succeed. I don’t want anybody to fail.”

Looking ahead toward her life of retirement, the longtime receptionist shared she was looking forward to not setting an alarm clock, yet plans to maintain a routine of some sort. She also plans to travel, as well as get involved with volunteer work.

“Every day on the job is different,” she said of her long term job. “When school is in session, the phones are very busy. If school sites aren’t able to pick up phones, calls are forwarded to here.”

Holding true to her word of enjoying helping people, Westfall confided that she even enjoyed helping the cranky customer. Embracing the challenge and watching them exit with a smile on their face.

“I really never thought I’d see this day come and I’ve been counting down for quite a little while,” Westfall admitted, adding her excitement for being able to help her children with her grandchildren. “I’m very close to my three kids and I’m very close to my five grandchildren and that’s the way I want it.”

As for advice for her replacement, her words were simple.

“My advice is to keep a smile,” she said. “Must have a lot of patience and grace. Keep a blank face so they don’t know what you’re thinking.”