Back to News

22 Years of Warm Welcomes at North Star Elementary School

Northern Lights Public Schools is pleased to recognize Lori Munford, an administrative assistant at North Star Elementary School in Cold Lake, as the final Staff Shining Star of the 2023-2024 school year. Her long-term service to the school, caring attitude, and focus on inclusivity have made her a pillar of North Star’s school environment for over two decades.

"Lori has been the welcoming face of North Star Elementary for 22 years,” said North Star Elementary School Principal Kim MacLeod. “She is the helpful voice when parents, staff, and community members call the school, and each and every morning she reminds all of our students to be mindful and reinforce their mental health with her Mindful Morning Announcement. Her calm, loving demeanour allows new parents to leave their children at school confidently, and she makes the school inviting and positive for everyone.”

Both staff and parents highlight Munford's incredible decorations found throughout the school, and her creative efforts make the school an even more engaging and cheerful place for students and staff alike.

“Lori’s bulletin board displays are amazing,” said MacLeod. “She continues searching for new ideas relevant to all our students. When the seasons and holidays change, you frequently hear children's voices yelling in excitement as they see a new display that Mrs. Munford has set up. They stop in the office to make a point to thank her for the beautiful decorations. Everything from Disney characters to frogs can be seen on our bulletin boards throughout the year, providing happiness for our students and staff. Mrs. Munford comes into the school on days off and before her working hours to set up these displays that support our positive school culture.”

Reflecting on her time at North Star, Munford shared, “Working with the students has truly been my favourite thing. Seeing them grow and learn brings me so much joy.” And indeed, as she says this, she’s interrupted by several students walking through the halls who stop and give her hugs before continuing on their way. “Now, I’m starting to see a second generation of students enter the school, children of those I first met when I started here,” she continued. “It’s incredibly gratifying and makes me feel deeply connected to this community.”

Assistant Principal Nicole Coben praised Munford’s dedication to community initiatives, especially during the holiday season. “Lori is a huge advocate for our Christmas Courtesy Store; she promotes it in the community, picks up donations, and helps with setup to ensure our student ‘shoppers’ have gifts to choose from for their family members. Lori also has connections in the community with Orbiting Trends to have additional jackets and winter wear donated to North Star for our students who don’t have what is necessary. She also does a clothing drive with the staff for Ella’s Closet.”

Kim MacLeod added, “Lori is a huge connecting piece to our puzzle at North Star. She knows the family and friends of almost all of our students. North Star students feel a connection with her and often refer to her as ‘the real principal’ of North Star. We are endlessly grateful for her work, her compassion, and everything she does for our school community.”

Lori Munford is the Northern Lights Public Schools Staff Shining Star for the month of June. Each month during the 2023-2024 school year, NLPS is featuring different Shining Stars and celebrating their contributions and accomplishments.