I want to give you all a look into the heart and head of LaShell Stearns.  Many of you know LaShell by name because you were on staff. LaShell has been working full time with Kanakuk for 31 years.  She is our Summer Staff Coordinator and she does an unbelievable job! Can you imagine getting compliance from 2500 college kids in terms of applications and references and contracts and direct deposit information and website logins and all of that?  Talk about herding cats. . . .

And yes, I said that she has been with us for 31 years!  LaShell! She is so great! I love LaShell. She’s hysterical, so fun to talk to and so easy to work with.  She makes the Director’s job so much easier with regards to all of the staff paperwork and I cannot imagine what Kanakuk would do without her!  When her job gets crazy (typically May, June and July), she likes to sing in the office! I haven’t gotten to witness her office karaoke, but now that I know it happens it is on my bucket list!

LaShell’s dream day would be getting up early and watching the sunrise and then heading out on an adventure with her husband.  She is most proud of her son and daughter-in-law. Her favorite season is Fall. And this is my favorite fun fact: if LaShell could be an animal, she would be a llama because they are pack animals who are adorable and can be very protective.  I think that tells us so much about her personality and I love that!

LaShell, like many many other people, loved my Gran’ma (Darnell).  I asked her who her Kanakuk hero was and she said, Darnell. I asked her about her favorite Kanakuk memory and it was about Darnell.  I asked her who she would spend one day with if she could choose anyone from Kanakuk past or present and she said, Darnell. And my Gran’ma loved LaShell, too, and that is how I got to know LaShell at first.  I remember my Gran’ma helping LaShell open envelopes in the Spring. All of our staff applications and contracts used to be paper (as you remember) and they would be closed with tape or band-aids or stickers (the list was extensive) and Gran’ma would help LaShell open all of the envelopes.  LaShell says that her favorite part of working at Kanakuk is that we are all family and her bond with Darnell was a direct bi-product of that family feel.

I asked LaShell about one story that makes her laugh every time she thinks about it and it was from an office lake day and involves being in a canoe with Tracy Sherrow (K2 registrar).  The canoe was tied to a wave runner (driven by Sharon Smith our Transportation Director) and, as you would expect, the canoe capsized after Tracy yelled at Sharon, “GIVE IT SOME GAS!”  Folks, we have a ton of fun working at Kanakuk!

If you ever want to thank LaShell for all of her hard work, you can always mail her a letter to the kamp address or email her at lashell@kanakuk.com.  She is wonderful and has been such a fantastic asset to our family for 31 years!

Jamie Jo Braner, Director of Alumni Engagement

Office Spotlight