This month Oxbow honors Deborah Dahl for staff excellence! We are excited to show our gratitude for our employee Deborah Dahl, who is our Office Manager at West Campus. Debbie grew up locally in Sanpete County, and has never left since. She had many opportunities to move away, yet she stayed around to help her mother who had MS because, as she said herself, “I have a bad habit of wanting to help people.” Our current Medical Coordinator, Jackie Johnson, recommended that Debbie would be a good mentor at Oxbow, so she had the opportunity to work as a line staff at East Campus, until the Office Manager position opened up. When asked what she felt she contributed to Oxbow, she replied, “Everyone in this world has something to give, and we always focus on the bad things, and overlook the good things.” She loves helping the students, and wants to make a difference in the world. She wants people to know that kindness, caring, and compassion are the keys to life.
Debbie’s hard work as our Office Manager is noticed by many here at Oxbow Academy. Kathy Harward, our East Campus Residential Coordinator says about her:
Debbie is amazing! She is funny and uses her sense of humor to cheer up both staff and students. She is always happy and smiling, she has an optimistic outlook on life. She is always willing to help with anything that needs to get done. While I was at West Campus, she was always willing to help get level packets printed or anything else that staff needed . Since I have been at East Campus, she has been equally amazing, helping with anything that I need help with. Deb you are an amazingly wonderful Lady!! Your humor has helped me get through many days!! I appreciate all that you do to help all of us out!! Thank you!! Love ya!!
Julie Anderson, our Families Service Director, gets to work quite a bit with Debbie. When asked about her experience with Debbie, she reported:
Debbie is AWESOME! I don’t think that I’ve ever worked with someone who is so organized and on top of things! She is always so willing to help me with whatever I’m working on; sometimes I don’t even have to ask her for help because she’s already got it done – I swear she can read my mind! All the students have a lot of love and respect for Debbie; they know she cares about them, but they also know that she’ll hold them accountable for the things they do and say. She’s a LOT of fun to have around the office, always remembering birthdays and other special occasions, constantly making cards and cute reminders for the students and staff. Debbie goes above and beyond in her position as the Office Manager and everything else she does (she wears a lot of different hats around here)! She’s an extremely busy person with running her own business in addition to working full-time at Oxbow – I’m thankful she’s chosen to share some of her time and talents with us! Thanks for everything, Debbie! I’m so grateful for your friendship and big heart!
Often when the students are taken on trail rides with Tony and Brita North, our Equine Directors, they will stop by the gas station in town that Debbie owns. She treats each student as if they were just a part of the small community, and asks them how the ride went. Other members of our small town will look at her questioning who they are and even ask, but she will never say they are from Oxbow, just that they are friends and are riding with Tony. It really makes the boys feel a part of the community. Brita reports, “That is something that she is really good at, making others feel included and making them feel part of the larger community.”
Debbie is not only incredibly helpful to our staff, and friendly to our students, she also brings smiles to all those she works with, including our therapists. Maria Watters stated that “Debbie is incredibly helpful and I’m amazed at her efficiency. She has always made me feel welcomed. I love her e-mails and how upbeat and positive she is. She makes great slideshows, too, for the parent seminar!!”
We are all privileged to be around Debbie’s contagious smile and positive outlook on life. When asked for a picture of herself for this post, she asked if she could just have a picture of sunflowers instead! Thank you, Debbie, for all you do for Oxbow Academy!