I grew up in the world of education. My father happened to be the Activities Director and Assistant Principal at my high school, and noticed I said Activities Director. Sure football is the most popular sport in high school, but my Dad made sure he was known as director of all activities and gave his enthusiasm to every single extracurricular event. When he left for a bigger class district, they had to divide his 1 job into 3 separate departments. Needless to say my determination and work ethic comes from that man. My mother, is a guru on the technology team and Google you need her (ok I’m being biased). She is smart, spunky, loyal, and when the network crashes she swoops in and fixes it with a snap of a finger.
So while I have a different mind set of donating school supplies for teachers than a majority of my friends, my loyalty is with those that are behind the scenes. Those making the school run like a clock. Below you will find 5 staff members of your local school that deserve a little bit of extra love this upcoming school year:
Activities Director: Oh my goodness, I really don’t think a community understands what all an A.D. does! They are the planner, organizer, communications director, business manager, and financial facilitator of all things activities. I remember my Dad driving numerous buses to events because a driver couldn’t be booked. They normally become the central point of criticism when there is a problem, since the athletic program is often the most visible aspect of education. Parents a real quick a tip for this upcoming year: if you have a problem with a coach, do NOT go straight to the Superintendent. That is what this guy/gal is for. They are in charge of all hiring, firing, counseling and supervision of all coaches. Making sure every child has a physical on record. Scheduling activities years in advance. They are the ones tripping on the football field running when your team scores a touchdown at state, being there for tennis player when a parent couldn’t make a match, making sure the athletic trainer is at a game in case a female basketball player lands on her head, and filling in for coaches when emergencies arise. I really could go on all day, so stop by their office sometime and say “thanks coach” with a high five.
Technology Team: You didn’t think about these individuals did you. Do you know how cool, amazing, and hip these guys/gals are? Step into their office sometime and I bet you will see desks filled with Star Wars, Big Bang, and Avengers merchandise. Not only that, but most of them are a lot smarter than Tony Stark. When your internet goes down they are the ones that dig deep to find the issue. They are there during the summers rewiring your network, making sure your kids are safe every morning by checking the cameras, getting registration ready for parents online, they are key by key entering in new iPad and computers into the data base, they are preparing desktops for preschoolers so they have the latest math software to practice those numbers. Let’s not get started with school dude emails. When a teacher has a problem with a computer, or smart board, in swoops the technology team. Every time I type ‘technology team’ I picture them in superhero capes standing in front of their computers. Stop by and give them the line “live long and prosper”. Of course with the Spock hand gesture.
Administrative Office: “Lee Summit High School this is Kenna.” I’m sure you have a different name at the end of yours, but we had the extraordinary Kenna, and from a parents point of view it’s always the same person answering the phones and taking messages and that’s what everyone thinks they do all day long. Not even close. These secretaries work exclusively with the administrative staff. For example, working with the A.D. to make sure officials are notified for the upcoming football game, the bus barn is scheduled to take the basketball team, and the building is on the calendar for Speech and Debate districts. Creating confidential documents, important memorandums and letters, school bulletins and reports. Making sure everyday that the schools attendance data base is up to date. Too be honest, how well a school runs has everything to do with these guys or gals. How organized, personable and they are the first person someone sees when they come to the school so in a way they are the face of the building.
Janitorial Staff: I don’t think people understand that this crew right here is the back bone of the school. They arrive before anyone else, and leave after the last light as gone down. They know this school inside and out. They are setting up for school dances, making sure the floor is clean for the basketball game, pulling bleachers out for a pep assembly, understanding if the school is too hot or cold, waxing the floors in the summer when you are playing in the pool, swooping in with bleach when someone gets sick and sometimes these people are in charge of the buses. Making sure your children get to and from school safely. Here’s a secret, you want to know the only other person who is at all activity events besides the Activities Director? It’s these guys right here. Look sometime. In the corner by the door. Cheering for your children. No matter your mascot these amazing staff members are apart of your team. So show these guys/gals some respect. Throw your trash away after lunch. Help clean up after a game one night. Make sure your classroom is tidy and a thank you here and there wouldn’t hurt either.
Counselors: A high school senior wanted to work for NASA, and guess who set up a conference call to make it happen? Absolutely, you guessed it! These guys and gals are a main source of where your child’s direction will come from on their future university choice or career path. Counselors are vital members of the education team. Each year students will work with them to pick classes for the following school year. They know these kids inside and out! They are working with parents to help a student with learning delays, bullying problems and ways to maximize learning outcomes. They give each student emotional, social, developmental and behavioral support. They help in setting up state testing that takes months to get ready for. They work closely with teachers and coaches to make sure your student athlete is making their grades so they can take the field. While parents are there to help children grow on a personal level, counselors are here to help children grow on an academic and social level. College freshman, a hand written letter or stopping in to see them when visiting home to say thank you for investing my future, would mean the world to them.