NEW MILFORD — For 35 years, Cecilia Barberio has greeted students and visitors to New Milford High School as one of its receptionists.

Even if you haven’t seen Barberio’s smiling face in the main office, there’s a good chance if you’ve spoken with her over the phone as a first point of contact when you call the school.

Barberio, of New Milford, who is retiring at the end of the school year, joined the district for a variety of reasons. She decided it was time to return to work. Both of her children were in school full-time, and working at a school allowed her to be home when they were.

During her tenure at New Milford High School, she has made lasting friendships with her colleagues and saw hundreds of students mature as they prepared for life outside of the school’s halls.

- What has been your favorite part about working at the high school?

The friends I have made. Watching students grow into responsible adults.

- How have you seen the school change during your time there?

In 2000, I moved from the old high school to the present building at Danbury Road.

There were many changes when 9/11 occurred. Security was heightened and parents needed to have a close connection with their children. Cell phones became a necessity.

- What are your retirement plans?

I will enjoy not having a schedule, such as, sleeping later. Family, friends and grandchildren are my priorities.

- What will you miss the most about the school and your job?

Meeting new people and daily interaction with students who are so much fun to be with! Helping parents with lunches, sports equipment and other items their children needed for the day. The staff have always been so friendly and willing to help you whenever they can.

- What are some of the memories that stand out from your time at New Milford High School?

There are so many!

In 2009, Channel 3 News highlighted our school on their “Cool School” segment. It was very exciting! My friend Nancy and I met very early and sat in the packed gym for the fun events.

I enjoyed going to school plays, concerts and sporting events. My children played volleyball, softball, baseball and wrestling. That kept us very busy.

In 1998, the graduating students dedicated their yearbook to me. What an honor!

I have fond memories of staff who have left the high school and many good ones for those I see every day!; 203-731-3345; @kkoerting