Wylie has its very own Dynamic Duo in Wylie East Junior High’s Lisa Albert and Debra McCright, although Albert describes them more as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich than Batman and
“She’s my peanut butter, and I’m her jelly,” Albert said.
The two women have been working together in the same office going on 14 years now, and through the years, they have become best of friends.
As secretary, Albert keeps East Junior High running like a well oiled machine, while McCright, as receptionist, greets each visitor with a warm smile and cheery hello.
But through the years, they have become much more than co-workers.
“Lisa is my very best friend,” McCright said. “We mesh very well together. We are friends outside of school. We go on vacations together. I spend more time with her than my own husband. God knew what he was doing to put me and Lisa together.”
Albert worked in a Wylie cafeteria for many years before landing the job as attendance clerk at Wylie Junior High in 2007. In 2008, McCright’s daughter was a student at the Junior High when the receptionist job suddenly became available.
McCright wasn’t even looking for a job, but she was invited to apply and was immediately hired.
“It was just a blessing for me,” McCright said. “We have been rocking and rolling ever since.”
Albert and McCright quickly became fast friends, and when Kathy Bunkley retired as Junior High secretary, Albert took over. But when Wylie decided to split into two Junior Highs, their partnership was threatened. They requested that they be together, but no one got to choose their new assignment.
“For weeks and weeks we were anxious and nervous,” McCright said. “All the emotions came to surface. Once I found out I was going to be with Lisa, it was a huge joy to me. That’s like my right-arm girl. I was thrilled to death. It was a huge relief.”
Both moved to the new East Junior High, where they continued their partnership. They also brought with them their reputations for being fun and sometimes crazy.
The pair was once caught standing on chairs trying to photo bomb a math picture for the Wylie Growl. Other hijinks include pushing each other around in their office chairs.
“We do our jobs, and we both do them very well, but we have so much fun in our office,” Albert said. “We enjoy each other. We love to laugh. There’s always silliness going on.”
They say the principals they have worked under – first Tommy Vaughn and now Rob Goodenough – have allowed them to be themselves.
“We are allowed to have fun,” McCright said. “We’ve got the best bosses.”
She said they also want the students to relate to them.
“We are real, and we are fun,” she said. “We want it to be a welcoming atmosphere. There is a lot of laughter and a lot of fun in our office. It’s very important to us to live life to the fullest.”
The pair are there for each other during the bad times as well. In 2008, just before McCright began working at the school, Albert’s son Brandon died in an accident. McCright’s children were friends with Brandon, and that has made it easier for her to support her friend during the dark times.
“She knew him, and he knew her,” Albert said. “I’m a firm believer that God puts people in your life for a reason.”
Albert said the Wylie district as a whole helped her family in a way that she doesn’t believe would have happened anywhere else.
“When that happened, the Wylie community sucked us in and took such good care of us,” she said. “We are not a normal district. I have had nonstop counselors, and people who would listen to me talk.”
Lisa and McCright continue to be counselors for each other when needed.
“We are so blessed to have each other,” McCright said. “It’s almost like having a therapy session at work.”
“We know each other’s moods,” Albert agreed. “Sometimes you can tell, and you either talk about it or you just get a hug or you vent. I can go to work and be down and having someone that loves me can change the whole day.”
Albert is just four years from being eligible for retirement, so who knows how much longer the Dynamic Duo will be together.
McCright is certainly not eager for that day.
“She tells me all the time that I can’t go,” Albert said. “She says I can’t even think of not having you here with me.”
McCright said she doesn’t know what will happen if that day comes, but she does know how lucky she has been.
“I will cry, and I will be sad,” she said, “and I will be blessed to have had such a special woman in my life.”