By Ashley Fong
It’s 8 a.m. and Karen Brewster just arrived at the front office. She checks her emails, phone messages, and prepares for the busy day that lies ahead. The phone is ringing, kids are piling in with questions, parents are dropping off lunches for their kids, and visitors are checking in for meetings. In the middle of all this buzz is Brewster, who is in charge of the d.tech front office. As hectic as it may sound, this is just the beginning for Brewster. One by one, she meets everybody’s needs, while bouncing in between answering phone calls from parents and responding to student questions.
“Can I get an ID?”
“Can you print this for me?”
“Can I turn in this form here?”
“Do you know where I can find *insert teacher name*?”
These are just a few of the most frequently asked questions from students. But with patience and a smile, Brewster greets every student and answers his or her questions. As the morning crowd slowly diminishes, Brewster goes back to working on her own projects, including attendance and new tasks that have come up. “Right now I’m working on reports, and dealing with the camping equipment,” she said. Brewster is also in charge of checking in students and visitors, handing out late passes, and helping both prospective and current parents with any questions they have.
Luckily, to help lessen the load, Brewster has office aides who are able to help with tasks while she focuses on finishing her other work. “Sometimes it’s finding students or teachers, organizing papers, making gift bags for incoming students, cleaning things, making copies of important documents, and reading things out loud to her,” said freshman, Yamini Prasad. Brewster patiently answers questions the office aid might have, and always acknowledges how thankful she is for the help.
With a lot going on and having to meet different needs, you would think it would get frustrating and stressful, but the only thing that frustrates Brewster is that she doesn’t have enough time to finish her work. “Every job can get frustrating, but not in a horrible unrealistic way,” Brewster said. The hardest moments for her are, “fitting everything I want to do in the hours that I am here. There’s always things that I would like to do that I don’t have the time in the day for.”
However, on top of all the work that has to get done, Brewster is always willing to lend a hand to help and collaborate with other staff members. Hanan Holloway, Business Manager at d.tech said, “She is so easy to work with, always in a good mood, patient, willing to do anything and goes with the flow.” If Brewster doesn’t have anything for her office aids to do, she always asks other faculty if they need help with anything.
At the end of the day, as hectic as it was, Brewster still manages to be in a cheery mood. “No matter how crazy the day is, she greets everyone with a smile,” said Marci Totten, Student Data Specialist at d.tech. Every day, Brewster has positive energy and has become a role model to some students such as freshman, Aya O’Malley. “She is very nice and sweet, but she is also a very hard worker. I admire her at times and she’s very accepting,” said O’Malley. Brewster takes her time to understand people’s questions and tries to answer them at the best of her ability. She is also very welcoming to everyone that passes through the front office and is very caring to those around her. With having to juggle many different tasks, Brewster doesn’t get annoyed or mad when she has to drop a task to answer a question. She puts your need above the task she is doing.