Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Pellicane
Having twins in the family is a fairly uncommon thing. Unless your name is FCHS front office receptionist Ethel Opie, who seems to have gotten a “double dose” of the twins gene.
”My youngest daughter just had a set of twin boys. Between my husband and I this is our third set of twin grandchildren. However, it is the 5th set of twins in our combined families, all naturally conceived starting with our moms,” she said.
Opie notes that the “twins gene” skipped her brothers and herself. along with her husband and his siblings, and only affected her girls. “I am now a proud Nana of seven total, with six living grandchildren. I have the complete set with one of each combination, boy/girl, girl/girl, boy/boy,” she added.
Opie is a long-term member of the Fluco family. “This school term is my 33rd year with the system,” she said. ”I started off in the SPED department which I enjoyed for most of my years in the system. After a year being in the new high school, I was asked to come and work in the front office as a receptionist,” she added.
She said that the best part of her job is ”meeting and greeting many different people that come into the school.” Another major portion of her job is being in charge of getting substitutes and coverage for teachers who are out.
A long-term Fluvanna resident, Opie went to school in Fluvanna and attended schools here in the county. She also had a few jobs before coming to the high school. “I worked in a factory for about a year, and then started driving the [FCHS] bus in 1987.” She also worked as an Instructional Assistant at the school in between her bus runs. “I drove [buses] for 25 years before stepping down due to medical issues,” she added.
What does Opie think of this school year? “Well, it is quite different. I miss seeing the kids, especially the students that work with us in the front office. It is a lot quieter here. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing…lol,” she said.
When she is not working at FCHS, Opie keeps busy. “I like to read, take walks with the grandchildren, along with cooking and baking. Since the pandemic I have baked many different desserts from scratch…and I’ve enjoyed teaching [her grandchildren] how to cook. We’ve had a lot of time spent together baking and enjoying good sweets,” she said.