Staff Appreciation

DezRhiannah King and Mimi Nguyen

          On a campus with over two thousand students and hundreds of teachers and other staff members, River City High School is full of diverse people.There are those who tend to stick out to both students and other faculty, they are the ones who deserve to be recognized for the hard work and commitment they put into our school.

          After being at school for eight hours, students focus on their classes and getting their work done as well as socializing with their friends. Typical school days pass, but what isn’t recognized often enough is that campus staff are not acknowledged as much as they should be. Students tend to forget to tell these people a well appreciated thank you and carry on about their day and tend to their own matters.

          Ranging from counselors, principal’s secretary, career center directors, there are three wonderful women who have made a huge impact on students. Taking initiative to help others is what drives these individuals to be such great people.

          One amazing woman that is known for her notorious connection with the students, all while giving great words of wisdom, is Ms.Estella Delatorre. A few of her responsibilities is to create work permits, find paid internships for students, and do legal paperwork that allows the school to have field trips.

          Something that she also contributes to is to help the undocumented students on campus to qualify for DACA, and initiate applications in order for these students to be able to get a job. Not only does she help from inside of the school but she also spreads her help throughout the community by giving aid to families with their income taxes.

          The day usually consists of about 50 people students who come and see her a day, and that’s not even including the parents.

          Being apart of the district for 27 years, she has a deep connection with the school, with her roots running back to her high school years here at River City. This year, her grandson Alberto will be graduating in the class of 2018.

          The final days of working at River City are coming to an end for Ms.Delatorre, this will be her retirement year. The students and staff are all very sad to see her go but are happy to see her leave. The amount of respect and appreciation that Ms.Delatorre has gained from being so great at her job will leave a mark on River City history and on its students.

          Ms. Joan Smith is the school’s Principal secretary, her job consists of making sure that all of the teacher’s have substitutes, helping parents and students, and taking care of the matters that attains to our principal, Mr.Mojsich.

          The daily array of students who come in for help or need Ms.Smith to do something. From helping directing students in the office to get where they need to go to sorting out what to do in a situations like; if a student had trouble graduating.

          “My job is customer service in my mind and helping people and making sure things run smoothly,” Smith explained.

          Being around the students and having a chance to talk to them is something that makes her day. Especially when former students or individuals who have received her help before comes back and gives her a thank you. She has received plenty of cards,flowers and thank you’s from people all over and within the district. Smith has even received a “Greater Raider Award”.

          Sometimes she talks with students who she can see who are going through a rough time or are in emotional distress and tries to calm them down and is “sort of a psychiatrist,” as Smith had joked.

          Depending on the situation, the amount of students that need help varies. The day could range from a little as three to about 30 or more coming into her office.

          Being around students makes her “feel younger”, it’s one of the the many parts of her job that she enjoys with working at River City, passing up chances to work at the District office.

          The campus always has a busy environment in the office, so there are times when things could be quite hectic. No matter the case Joan finds that the best part of her job, is when every task that she is in charge of doing gets coordinated properly and things get done.

          In situations such as emergency or the need to contact the ambulance if somebody were to be hurt or needed to get to see the nurse and she is not available, Smith will make the proper calls and take action.

          Taking pride in trying to help as many people as possible and make situations better. Her efforts of being so great at her job has made it very worth it in the long run. When people from the district and people have given well deserved praise for doing her job so well she feels very proud of what she does.

          One instance that happened was “a student from FFA was doing an interview and I helped fix his tie and he ended doing a good job on his interview. He came back the next day and said ‘thank you, i got a good grade on my interview’ and it made me feel really good,” Smith recalled.

          Working in the vice principals’ office, Kristin Rodriguez is one of the individuals who starts her day early in the morning. Students are greeted with smiles by her in the mornings when they arrive on campus.

          “A lot of what I have to do is centered around student discipline, but I also supervise teachers and observe them,” Rodriguez shared.

          Having a role like she does here at River City may be a job that can be difficult at times. Dealing with students who come into the office because of disciplinary situations may be frustrating.

          “I try to help them understand what got them sent to the office and how to think about it in a different way so that it doesn’t happen again, or to review the situation so that they could see where they could’ve made different choices. Sometimes there’s consequences, but I try to make it a learning experience because that’s we’re here to do.”

          Of course, after putting in hard work and effort into doing what’s best to help keep the school environment, staff members gets acknowledged for their service.

          “Every once in a while we’ll get a card or somebody who will give you a hug and that’s very nice too.I like the different kids that I meet everyday and the different people I meet. It’s never the same day twice. There’s always a new twist to what’s going on at school, so even though I’ve done this job for the last six years you never repeat the same day. It’s always interesting and I always learn something new,” Rodriguez stated.

          The function of River City and its students has relied and still relies on these wonderful people. They have committed so much to our campus and are great examples of what it’s like to be a raider. All of their help and kindness is not taken lightly, staff and students are well aware of what they have received, and the impact and memories shared with those students will be remembered forever.

          “I’m proud of the positive changes that we have made at River City High School in the climate and the culture. To know that kids notice that was really cool.”