Friday Feature: Scot Ambuel, Nelson SSO

by Mary Ann Mitchell, Public Relations and Communications Coordinator

Scot Ambuel, Nelson Elementary SSO

Scot Ambuel may have retired from District #7 in 2014 after 35 years as a speech pathologist, but he remains a familiar face in the district.  

Ambuel is in his sixth year as the SSO at Nelson Elementary. After his retirement, he subbed for three years as a special education assistant before taking on the SSO role.   

“I’ve been around a long time. As an example, Mrs. Edwards (Nelson principal) was a student at Leclaire when I was teaching there!” 

Ambuel said he is not one to sit around and watch TV or read a book. He enjoys being active with things such as vegetable and flower gardening, hiking, animal watching, and tennis, but those activities are limited in the winter.  

“Being an SSO gives me the opportunity to stay active, both physically and mentally. I have a theory that when one retires, you either stay active or live and sit around and die. I’m not ready to die!”

His favorite part of being an SSO is getting to be an ambassador for his school and the school district.

“For most parents, I am the first district employee they encounter face-to-face. That gives me the opportunity to welcome them and to set their impressions of the school where their child will be educated, as well as that of ECUSD7.” 

Not only did Ambuel spend his entire teaching career in District #7, but he was also born and educated here, making District #7 extra special to him.  

“I enjoy the camaraderie of the teachers, talking with parents, and I enjoy helping/teaching children, whether it is tying their shoes, or teaching them things like the life cycle of the endangered Monarch Butterfly.” 

While he was hired to maintain the safety and security of the children and staff at Nelson, it is much more than just sitting and watching the front door.  

“It involves screening those individuals coming to that door and maintaining the security of the playground and the school’s perimeter. I am also part of a team that makes sure the children get home safely at the end of the day.”  

When he thinks back on his own teaching career and how things have changed and that there’s a need for SSOs now when there was a time that there necessarily wasn’t, he is also grateful for what the position provides.  

“Next year I will have four grandsons in four different buildings. It is comforting for me to know that there are SSOs in those buildings keeping them safe during their educational day.”  #d7proud