Malavika Kannan

Cafeteria personnel often do a great deal behind the scenes to prepare meals for their "guests."

Thu-Minh Nguyen, Co-Content Manager

The following article was featured in our fall print issue. Print copies can be accessed in the media center or your English classroom.

With a population of 3,500 students, Seminole High faculty and staff can only handle so much when it comes to maintaining the school. Teachers are the forepart of the staff that students see routinely throughout the school week whereas the rest of the staff, such as cafeteria personnel, security guards, and administrators, are behind the scenes of the action. Despite the fact that they are hidden for most of a student’s school day, the roles they play are crucial in the functioning of SHS.

Although students engage with a part of the cafeteria staff daily, they do not acknowledge the extra work that goes beyond the cash registers and displays of food and drinks. Making food to feed hundreds of hungry teenagers can be a strenuous task that takes a great deal of planning and teamwork.

Lunch manager Brenda Weber said, “I oversee 29 staff members, making sure that we are doing what we need to serve our guests which are the students and the faculty and staff as well as the community in general. We do what we can to help and make sure that everyone gets fresh, nutritional food everyday.”

Cafeteria personnel are not only invested in providing meals for students, but they are also devoted to  the students themselves. A one-line motto printed on the cafeteria kitchen’s wall reads, “It’s all about the guests.”

“My favorite part is the kids especially when [they] are upbeat and positive [and] talk to us,” said Weber. “We like being talked to instead of [them] coming in with headphones and pointing at things that [they] may want. It’s nice to have those conversations with [them]. It makes it fun.”

The staff seen riding across campus on bikes or standing observantly with walkie-talkies are the security guards and administrators that secure safety at SHS. Patrolling the school, dealing with discipline, and preventing rule-breaking are some of the day-to-day duties they have.

Nelson Hilerio, a well-liked security guard known for his bike riding and birthday songs, helps the school and in return, benefits from his job in many ways. Connecting with students is one of Hilerio’s favorite aspects of his job where he strives to teach students the importance of school. In exchange for his contribution to SHS, Hilerio is healthier as a result of his daily bike travels.

“My favorite part of my job is dealing with students, making friends, and telling them about the purpose of life, which is to be successful in life, to believe in yourself, to stay away from trouble, to follow the right direction, and to focus on your goals,” said Hilerio.

Every student has a guidance counselor to turn to for academic support and advice, but not every student is aware of this. The common misconception about guidance counselors is that they only accommodate for schedules, but they have many more undertakings such as monitoring grades and attendance, assisting students face-to-face, working on credit checks, and reaching out to parents. A new implementation of booking appointments arranged by students allows for more organization to an already unpredictable schedule for guidance counselors.

One of the most important responsibilities guidance counselors have is meeting with students, whether for academic help or personal problems.

“I want to let students know that we are here for you guys,” said guidance counselor Shenique Gilbert. “Don’t think we’re too busy. Anything you think you might need, we got. We tell kids we’re not just here to work on your grades, we’re here if you need counseling.”

The heroes of SHS are not just the ones students see in classrooms, but they are also the ones in cafeterias, roaming around campus, or in their offices.