For Jesse Sixkiller, changing jobs was like coming home.
Earlier this month, Rogers County native Sixkiller was named the new postmaster for Claremore Post Office, where he’s been busy re-acclimating himself to his hometown and its residents.
“It’s so good to be back in Claremore — it’s great, I love it,” Sixkiller said. “I’ve been in Tulsa for nearly 10 years, so being here is like being home again. There are a lot of good things happening in Claremore, and I’m glad to be back here to be a part of them.”
Prior to being named postmaster in Claremore, Sixkiller spent nearly ten years working his way up through the ranks with the USPS in Tulsa.
“Before I was named postmaster in Claremore, I was with Tulsa Northeast (of the U.S. Postal Service),” he said. “Tulsa Metro is under one facility, but there are ten stations there, and the northeast station is where I was previously — there, I held multiple positions, supervisor, manager, etc. It made for some long days but it was good, though. It was fun.”
Growing up, Sixkiller went to school in Claremore, attending from kindergarten through 12th grade uninterrupted, and graduating from Claremore High School with the class of 1997.
Following graduation, Sixkiller studied business for two semesters at Rogers State University, and then was hired to work as a city carrier in Tulsa.
“In Tulsa, I started on the north side, and later, southeast Tulsa — I did that for nine years,” he said. “One thing I really enjoyed about being a mail carrier was the customers — getting to know them, being a part of their lives, saying ‘Hi’ to them and you got to know them as individuals. You’d know what was happening in their lives, if they were feeling ill or what was going on with them -- it seemed like, as a letter carrier, I felt like I was making a positive impact just by seeing people every day, telling them ‘Hello’ and being a positive part of their day -- I was that ‘last mile’ between the post office and the customer.”
When the opportunity arose to move into a supervisory role, Sixkiller accepted and moved into a more “behind the scenes” role, where he still sought to make a positive difference for the customers and postal employees alike.
While working in Tulsa, Sixkiller moved to Tulsa to be closer to work, but with his new position at the Claremore Post Office, he has since moved back to Claremore, where he said he feels “right at home.”
“The previous postmaster retired not long ago, and with the position opened, I was appointed here and have been here (as postmaster) for the past couple of weeks,” he said. “It’s been great being back in Claremore and seeing people I used to know from around town or school.
“It’s funny -- when people meet me (at the post office) as postmaster, they’re polite and friendly, but when the find out who I am — whose son I am and that I’m originally from here, I’m a much bigger deal,” he laughed. “My mom and dad — Teri Stonebarger and Steve Sixkiller, who was also a letter carrier in Claremore — are both from Claremore and still live here, so a lot of people who come in know my parents as well.”
As postmaster, Sixkiller said his “typical day” involves reviewing the previous day’s financial reports, greeting the carriers and ensuring that all employees have the tools needed for their day, as well as spending time in the (post office) lobby and reaching out to area businesses.
Even in an age of texting, emails and instant messaging, Sixkiller said he’s confident that the United States Postal Service will remain an integral part of people’s lives.
“Texting is one thing, but there’s nothing like getting a card or letter in the mail — it just has such a personal aspect to it, to take the time to write something out and put it in the mail for someone else,” he said. “Postcards, letters or cards that people receive in the mail are something tangible that a person can keep as mementos for years to come. That will never change.”
Sixkiller is married to Andrea, who is a registered nurse in Tulsa. The couple has two children, Sarah, nine, and Emery, who will be five in November.