Valhalla

Staff in the spotlight

Those performing background tasks get pushed to center stage

Behind+the+scenes%3A+Michele+Thomas+%28left%29+and+Lisa+Riecks+%28right%29+work+hard+to+feed+the+hungry+students.+They+are+always+willing+to+help+when+you+are+low+on+money.+%E2%80%9CYou+will+need+money+tomorrow+or+we+can+provide+you+with+a+courtesy+lunch+if+you+are+short+on+money%2C%E2%80%9D+Riecks+said.
Behind the scenes: Michele Thomas (left) and Lisa Riecks (right) work hard to feed the hungry students. They are always willing to help when you are low on money. “You will need money tomorrow or we can provide you with a courtesy lunch if you are short on money,” Riecks said.

Behind the scenes: Michele Thomas (left) and Lisa Riecks (right) work hard to feed the hungry students. They are always willing to help when you are low on money. “You will need money tomorrow or we can provide you with a courtesy lunch if you are short on money,” Riecks said.

Daswen Hudson

Daswen Hudson

Behind the scenes: Michele Thomas (left) and Lisa Riecks (right) work hard to feed the hungry students. They are always willing to help when you are low on money. “You will need money tomorrow or we can provide you with a courtesy lunch if you are short on money,” Riecks said.

Marin Nielsen, Editor in chief

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With a high school this large and successful, there are a lot of staff members ensuring operations run smoothly behind the scenes.

In the Main Office, Office Manager Joan Human keeps machines running, acts as a liaison for substitute teachers and manages the principal’s schedule. Human started as a paraeducator at Sunnycrest Elementary School and worked in their Primary Intervention Program (PIP) to assist K-2 students who were struggling in the classroom.

“I have five children, and all of them went kindergarten through graduating high school through Lake Stevens. I started off volunteering in their classrooms, and I volunteered for all of them so I wasn’t favoring one child or another and so the teachers knew who I was and one of the teachers said to me ‘why don’t you get paid for this?’,” Human said.

After Highland Elementary opened in 1999, so did many new jobs at the high school. Human took advantage of the opportunity and took a job in the Main Office in 1999, assuming the position of office manager in 2004. Since coming to LSHS she has worked under five principals. Though she has loved working with all of them, she has a strong relationship with our current principal, Leslie Ivelia. In her free time, Human loves reading, spending time with her family and going to the movies with her brother.

Custodial staff is another group who keep our school running smoothly. Rob Herndon, our day-time custodian, works very hard making sure our school stays clean, working through the day and over breaks. Herndon gets to school as early as 5:15 a.m. to unlock doors, turn on lights and set up the cafeteria for breakfast. Before entering custodial work, he worked as both a mechanic and more recently, a carpenter.

“In 2008 the recession hit and I was lucky enough to work until 2010, and then it got so bad that nobody [in construction] was working, I’m talking all of Seattle, Everett. And my wife happens to work for the school district in the main office and I was telling her that i didn’t like the idea of collecting unemployment,” said Herndon.

 

To find new work, he applied as a custodian in the school district and began working as an absent replacement custodian. After cultivating a relationship with the high school principal at the time, Eric Cahan offered him a job here at the high school. When he is not on the job, Herndon likes driving his hot rod around town, vacationing with his wife and watching TV. His favorite programs consisting of various reality TV shows and the Discovery Channel.

Also working hard to keep the school running smoothly and students happy is Kitchen Manager, Deanna Ball. The kitchen staff serves roughly 750 students daily and Ball is responsible for ordering food and helping in the kitchen as needed.

“I [was just] doing my produce order for the next week. I have a truck here right now delivering a lot of food for the fridge and freezers and i probably get [300 cases] every Wednesday. And then we get milk deliveries and I have to order that and bring it in. So it’s a lot of ordering and then i just fill in where I need to,” Ball said.

As of this year, she has been working in the district for the last 11 years, first starting as a server over at Cavelero, later being promoted to Kitchen Manager at North Lake Middle School and then came to LSHS. Though she heads to work as early as 4:00 a.m. and works very hard during the day, Ball finds time to spend with her three daughters and granddaughter as well as going to the movies and traveling.

With the number of students this campus hosts, it can’t be easy performing these kinds of jobs on a day to day basis. Though faced with time consuming, and at times stressful jobs, each of these Viking staff members have expressed a large appreciation for the students themselves and their politeness. The next time you run into any of these staff members, make sure to thank them for the many services they provide here at LSHS.

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Staff in the spotlight