First Floor Family

Jaylene Maldonado & Hailey Reyes, Web Editor and Copy Editor

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Karla Evains Barnett sits at the end of the of the cafeteria line on an early Wednesday morning. Students are sitting at lunch tables socializing with friends, catching up with homework and some walk up to the food line to receive breakfast before heading up to class.  Karla patiently waits for students to punch in their lunch numbers while she continuously asks, “Ketchup, syrup?”

Karla and her partner Elizabeth work every day in the school cafeteria, catering to not only Da Vinci Communication students but to Da Vinci Design, Science, and Rise students as well.

These employees are only two of the many that work on the first floor of Da Vinci schools. Security guards patrol campus during the school day, traffic directors frantically wave their hands in the parking lot, either signaling a car to stop or rotating their hands towards the exit, and custodians that do their very best to ensure every floor stays clean and fit for the students attending.

Lee Finch, one of the many security guards that roams Da Vinci’s campus begins to motion to all the students standing outside the school building. He points out that much like the cafeteria staff, students from all three schools are under his watch.

“I’m here for security purposes. Obviously campus safety, my main focus all day long is to make sure no one comes in here that doesn’t belong in here,” explained Finch.

First-floor staff are those who keep what goes on downstairs running smoothly. Their job however, may not always be as easy as they make it seem.  

“The big challenge is obviously trying to recognize everybody by face so I know who’s staff and who’s not,” Finch explains.

With great challenge could also come great rewards. Barnet just finishes asking a student how their day is going when she gushes about the positivity that students bring to her workplace.

“I’m all about respect and I get respect here. It just makes my job so much easier. I mean, the staff is amazing. The kids are amazing. I can’t ask for no more, really,” said Barnett.

Even when Barnett is not working, she still has been granted the pleasure of interacting with students outside of school. She begins to tell a story of a time when she bumped into a group of students at a local Starbucks. “It blew me away that they recognized me,” she exclaimed, hands dancing in front of her keyboard.

Aside from that quick Starbucks meet up, students at DVC might still find it difficult to get to know staff members who play such an important role on our campus.   

“ I don’t think that the students know them [staff members] on a name to name basis,” said Stacey España, an eleventh-grade teacher  at DVC.“I think if we did something during advisory, maybe writing thank you cards for everything they do.”

A thank you from the community at DVC appears to be something the students and staff feel would bring those on the first-floor a greater amount of involvement into Da Vinci Culture.

*Video done in Noel’s 10th grade class in 2018

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