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Staff Q&A with Yvonne Duncan

Although she’s already been at the community for nearly five months, Administrative Assistant Yvonne Duncan is a relative newcomer to the Newton Presbyterian Manor family. In order to get to know her a little better, we recently got her to sit down for a quick and informal Q&A session.

Where are you from originally?

I’m from the small town of Chapman, Kansas. A place where everyone knows everyone, a town teaming with those who rely on each other. A small town however isn’t defined by the number of people in it or the square miles it has, it’s defined as a friendly place that has its own small-town charm and is a peaceful, safe place to live.

What are your hobbies?

I have a variety of hobbies, actually. I enjoy creative arts such as drawing, painting and crafting. I love hunting, pole fishing and bow fishing. Sometimes you may even find me in a shop turning a wrench covered in grease working on a demolition derby car.

What do you like most about working at Newton Presbyterian Manor?

Working with people from all different walks of life. You get to hear some really great stories and gain new perspectives. Of course, it can be hard at times, but you’ll be surprised at the amount of wisdom and positivity you get from the residents.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

Receptionists/assistants are the first ones to hear about complaints or issues. Balancing empathy in a situation and determining how to best address it can be a drain on energy and time, no matter how experienced we may be.

What energizes you at work?

Learning new skills really motivates me. It’s satisfying to see myself improve as I gain more knowledge about the job. I also really love coming up with creative ideas to improve or even make something new.

What are three items on your bucket list?

Take a spontaneous road trip. Visit all the National Parks. Go deep-sea fishing.

Where do you hope to visit one day?

Scotland. Why, you might ask? My family line is Scottish and Irish. Scotland has some of the most striking landscapes from rolling hills, mountain faces, white sandy beaches and all the medieval architecture. I have also heard that they have some of the best scenic drives.

Do you have any pets?

I have free-range chickens, ducks and a turkey that will follow you around and loves to be fed treats. I also have two dogs. Jade is 15 years old and is a sweetheart who can do just about any trick you can think of—she’s a pretty pampered dog. My white lab, Snow, is almost a year old and reminds me of a sour patch kid as she’s super sweet and smart but she likes to see what she can get away with in her puppy stages.

Who is your hero and why?

My parents are my heroes. They’re both heroes to me not because of what they offered the world, but what they offered me. A hero is someone that you can model yourself after, or a person you look up to and strive to be like. When you are in a situation you do not know how to solve, they are some you can look to and ask yourself what that person would have done in a similar situation. To me, a hero is someone who sets a good example for you and someone with a good set of morals and values. A hero does not always have to be someone in a cape out saving the world. I think heroes can be normal people—rather extraordinary people in my case. I am very thankful and truly blessed to have such wonderful parents.

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