Outside the world of academics, there is so much that goes on for students at Saint Ignatius. For the past 17 years, Diana Pavlik has had a hand in all of it. As the Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Principal for Student Life, Mrs. Pavlik interacts with just about every student and makes the extracurricular side of the school run like clockwork.
Pavlik came to Saint Ignatius in 2004, working for former Dean of Students Larry Arthur Hon. ’19. She established herself as someone who could more than handle the vast amount of organization and record-keeping the job required, while also responding to any number of student needs that could pop up without notice.
“Anyone who has ever worked in a school knows that the main office is the Grand Central Terminal and its administrative assistants are the conductors who keep everything and everyone running smoothly,” says Assistant Principal for Student Life Brian Martin ’94. “Diana is that quintessential conductor in an office that is defined by its mind-boggling number of interruptions and flurries of activity every hour of every day.”
The job is often a catchall. Most anything relating to students that falls outside the academic world runs through Pavlik’s office. That’s the school calendar, extracurricular activities, daily announcements, dress code assistance, coordination of homerooms, lost and found, field trips, and countless other tasks.
“She has seen almost everything in her 17 years here and knows the answer to seemingly every question that winds up in our office—and that is not a small number of questions,” says Martin.
Pavlik has worked alongside a few different leaders of this office, from Arthur to Rory Hennessey ’78 to Martin and Ryan Franzinger ’02. As such, she has been a lynchpin for their success, with tremendous institutional knowledge on all the processes and protocols of the office.
“She is always a professional, and she’s very thorough,” Hennessey says. “She’s very good at what she does, and she’s personable with the kids.”
Throughout the school year, as major events like Prom, Christmas in Our Community Day, or Graduation come and go, a thank-you email often goes out to the employee community. Pavlik is almost always high up on those emails. One example from this year: She was instrumental in helping plan a COVID-safe Prom, working with the vendors, catering, and creating a seating chart for 625 people.
But as terrific as she has been with big-picture work, Pavlik cares deeply about her one-on-one interactions with students. For the past few years, she has made sure that, on students’ birthdays, they can come by her office for an enormous chocolate chip cookie. That’s 1,500 birthdays to keep track of, and she always plays catch-up or works ahead for students whose birthdays fall on a weekend or during a break.
For every student who ever forgot his belt, or participated in a club, or went on a field trip, or celebrated a birthday at Saint Ignatius, Pavlik is one of few people whose work impacts each student. She also spent several years helping lead the Friends with L’Arche ministry that visits homes of people who have developmental disabilities. Even in that work, she always found ways to make sure the Saint Ignatius students and L’Arche core members had a memorable experience.
“Herself a mother of three alumni and two young grandchildren, Diana treats our students like they are one of her own,” Martin says. “She draws on the instincts only a mother possesses to determine almost instantaneously whether they need a word of encouragement or a warning to tuck in a shirt and look the part of an Ignatius student.”
In all she has done, Pavlik has set the standard for working in Student Life: excellent planning, careful attention to detail, friendly communication, adaptability, and dedication to the students.
“Everyone loves Diana Pavlik,” Martin says. “She leaves huge shoes to fill.”