Advancement Office database manager Ann Wiley, who wore so many hats at PDS over the years, is the subject of the penultimate profile of this year's group of longtime PDS faculty and staff who retired in June. (The most recent previous profile, which you can read here, is of the inimitable Upper School English teacher Barbara Walker.) Ann, who will continue to coordinate PDS alumni Class Notes for the Journal magazine, is remembered fondly here by Marie Shock, Former Assistant to the Lower School:
Ann and I met while working at the U.S. Tennis Association's Education and Research Center on Alexander Road in Princeton. A small office with mostly women, our group bonded as we weathered tennis conferences in New York City at a tired Roosevelt Hotel where roaches sometimes partied on toothbrushes. I left there in 1983 and made my way to 650 Great Road. Ann followed in 1986, or we could say returned, as she's a graduate.
We started working at PDS as young women and leave as retirees. We went from railing about McEnroe to navigating Medicare. During those 30 years, we've celebrated birthdays, Christmases, and shed tears together as parents have passed. We commiserated on the ups and downs of school life. Whenever I went to Colross, I'd stop by her office and most every day Ann stopped by mine on her way to lunch. Sometimes I'd join her longtime lunch table partners but often there wasn't enough room at that big table. We'd laugh or grumble depending on the day.
While at PDS, Ann became the font of knowledge about everything PDS; those who've come and gone, parents and alums. I knew that if I needed a start date, graduation year, or most any PDS fact, she had it in her database. I call her Wileypedia. She's a stickler for accuracy and can spot a mistake in an instant.
As we know, she's kept a countdown to retirement on her phone and knows exactly how many days left she has to work. I teased her with my countdown last year and she begged me to wait another year — no way! I had to be the one leaving first, just like the old days.
From her light-filled office on the second floor of Colross, Ann can observe people coming and going. She'll leave that cozy place to join the growing group of local PDS retirees. She'll lallygag over lunch, become even more active in her church, go on more mission trips to Haiti, hit the gym daily, or travel to Iceland for a few weeks. She'll talk about the "good old days" on Great Road where lifelong friendships were formed.
I'm sure you'll see Ann's picture here in the Journal smiling with friends while gathering facts for her own personal database. Old habits die slowly. I'll be in those pictures with Ann and we'll be recounting the many adventures we had at PDS; from challenging projects to the ever-changing cast of characters passing through the halls. Ann's beginning days at PDS turned into years then decades. She leaves behind a strong work ethic and the determination to always get her facts right. Her successor will have big shoes to fill but Ann is ready for another pair, or so her countdown clock says!