The Student News Site of Emporia Middle School
Left to right, Erica Miller, Hugo Escobar, and Jessica Griffith

Left to right, Erica Miller, Hugo Escobar, and Jessica Griffith

Left to right, Erica Miller, Hugo Escobar, and Jessica Griffith

Be Thankful and Spark the Change!

November 17, 2017

Around the Emporia Middle School, there are many different employees that create the wonderful environment that we learn in every day. Most of which, are often overlooked and underestimated. It is now November, and Thanksgiving is approaching, a holiday of giving thanks for our blessings. Emma, Sydney, and I [Lenia],  think that we need to start being more thankful for the staff at EMS. Below, we recently interviewed a variety of forgotten people at EMS, that we should be more thankful for.

We all know that middle schoolers are reckless often times, so someone has to help them get back up when we fall. Who better to do that job than the school nurses? Most times, the nurses are seen as the underrated staff. People shouldn’t see them as not important staff members. The nurses are critical in more ways than one. The nurses need as much credit as the teachers do. Middle schoolers don’t always make the best choices in their lives, and we tend to get hurt. They help anyone in need of assistance while trying their best. The nurses are also kind and willing to help. They aren’t rude or say, “It’ll be fine, walk it off” or anything negative like that. For this particular story, I interviewed Erica Miller, an Emporia Middle School nurse for her look on what her take is on being a school nurse!

For the first question, I asked her what the most difficult part of being a nurse is. Miller responded with, “With so many students it’s so difficult to keep everyone straight, and it’s hard to keep up with all the students who are sick or in need of help. Also, there’s not a lot of privacy in my office and I can’t talk to kids privately about their problems.” Secondly, I asked her if she thought students think that being a nurse was an underrated job. “Yes, especially a school nurse.” For the third question I asked her what would happen if there weren’t nurses at EMS. Miller responded with, “I think that kids would be coming to school with a lot more fevers and spreading germs, and kids that have a chronic illness, like arthritis or diabetes that go unchecked.” Lastly, I asked Miller what she thought the hardest part about being a nurse is. “Leaving my job at work because sometimes I worry about kids and what they will do without the nurse there, and then I think about that later.”

The custodians are constantly picking up after us, and making sure the school looks pristine and presentable. Just imagine what the school would look like without someone picking up! It would look that a horrible mess, that’s what! I know that custodians are often looked down on as dirty, and unskilled people. But, they actually are real humans that are a necessary part of a school. They have real feelings and they are actually doing more than picking up trash, such as fixing broken items. I interviewed Hugo Escobar, a custodian here at EMS, this is how it went:

First, I asked him; What do you think when students see you but ignore you?, his answer was, “Actually, I never paid attention to kids ignoring me, most of the time when I say hi they say hi back”. Secondly, I inquired; What is the most frustrating thing about your job?, “Some days it can get hectic, there are some days that are easy and some days that are messy here and there that’s where it’s frustrating”. Next, I asked him about his favorite part of his job, “It’s a pretty relaxing job there’s no pressure most of the time to get things done at the specific time so you’re not on the clock”. Finally, I asked; Why do you think that custodians get a bad reputation?, his final answer was “ I guess the bad reputation would be that you clean up after someone else or clean bathrooms”. Escobar really didn’t seem to mind that students aren’t always the kindest. I think that custodians actually do a lot and more than cleaning. I hope this told you a little more about Escobar and his job here and the EMS!

Not all kids have enough money to buy food, so that’s why they look forward to school is because there is always a warm breakfast and lunch waiting for them.  The food has to be cooked somehow and that’s where food service comes in.  Many middle schoolers don’t even notice who is giving them the food or know their names, which is sad because they have to come to school early every day and cook our meals.  I interviewed Jessica Griffith, an Emporia Middle School kitchen manager.

My first question was; what made you decide to become the kitchen manager for the Emporia Middle School? Jessica Griffith responded with, “I became the kitchen manager because the opportunity was presented and I took it. Working in the kitchen is a great job if you have a family. It allows you to spend lots of time with them.” I asked her what do you have to do before school to get lunch and breakfast ready? She told me, “To get ready for breakfast we prep about 200-250 servings. For lunch we prep about 650-720 servings. The kitchen team works together to make sure everything is prepped and ready for kids. This includes the main entree, fruits, vegetables, condiments and the extra’s we sell”. Knowing that very few kids say thank you or acknowledge the cook or cashier, I was wondering if many kids say “thank you” a polite comment when Jessica Griffith checks them out, and she responded with, “Some students are very polite and say thank you. A couple even say have a nice day. I would say a majority don’t say anything.” Lastly, I asked her what she has to do being the kitchen manager for EMS.  Jessica Griffith responded, “Being the kitchen manager some of my duties are… managing and training staff, overseeing breakfast and lunch, managing  lunch accounts and balance and close financials at the end of the day.” All of what she does is probably grueling, to come in each in everyday, getting lunch and breakfast ready, training staff, managing and balancing lunch accounts, and to close financials (record of financial activity) . Next time the cooks serve your food or check you out say “thank you” or “have a nice day.” It may be small but it will make a big difference in their day!  

Since Thanksgiving is approaching quickly, we should all be more thankful for the EMS staff that help us be successful in school. There are a lot of good influences varying from teachers to secretaries. Take a minute out of your day to say thank you or acknowledge a staff member at school.

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