With School Closed, These Staff Members Are Still Working

Andre Lucas, Writer

Since the Downey Unified School District has ordered all schools to close as of March 16 due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, teachers and students have been forced to work from home for the remainder of the 2020-2019 school year. However, other employees throughout Downey High School such as office staff, campus security, and maintenance staff still come to work everyday to ensure that students have technology needed for online school work and that the school stays clean and safe.

 

To make sure any non-school employees are not on campus, David Evans who works for campus security is one several employees still on campus. When asked what his job is like during school, he compared his duties as a security guard when school is in session to what he now has to do while the campus remains closed.

 

“Right now it’s just basically me roaming the campus and making sure the public stays away,” Evans said. “When the school is in session, there are over 4,000 kids that I have to watch and make sure they are all behaving. Right now it’s a lot easier.”

 

As a secretary in the Guidance office, a typical day for Ana Ceron entails a list of duties, such as covering for teachers, coordinating with other campus facilities, and distributing mail. However, due to the pandemic, Ceron now shows up at the Main Office once a week to answer the phone and provide customer service among other tasks. When asked to juxtapose what her job is usually like during regular school hours to what it’s like now, she gave her thoughts on the recent changes she had to adjust to.

 

“When school is open, I get so busy that the day goes by so fast. I am always in contact with staff and students and that makes me feel very happy especially because I know I am helping everyone that needs a hand,” Ceron stated. “[N]ow that it is closed, I am only here one day out of the week and some days are busier than others so I do miss my regular work assignment.”

 

Intermediate Clerical Assistant, Jacklyn Guevara, also works on campus at least once a week to answer phones, respond to emails, and enter data since it gives her a chance to leave her house and stay sane. When asked about her feelings regarding how the change in her work environment while schools remain closed, she gave an explanation of how she has taken advantage of the joy Downey High brought her while the school was still open.

 

“You can never feel lonely when school is open. You can never feel sad. There’s always a goofy student or coworker ready to make you smile and laugh,” Guevara stated. “Now that school is closed, you can feel and see that change… [y]ou don’t get to see the students or hear the amazing stories they have to share. I have definitely taken all that for granted.”

Whether these staff members are well known or not by the rest of the school, they still come to work everyday, risking their own lives, to ensure that Downey High School is well taken care of while teachers and students are self-quarantining at home. Therefore, without these staff members, the question of the school’s well being while it remains closed would be unanswered but because of them, it doesn’t have to be that way.