Syreeta Davis, Secretary, Buford Middle School
Syreeta Davis, Secretary, Buford Middle School
How do you support student learning from outside the classroom?
If they are coming to school late consistently, I encourage them to be on time and advise them of how much of the lesson they are missing. I ask them how we can help them get to school on time. Also, when students come in with discipline issues, I talk to them and help them see what got them to this point, and how can we help them avoid getting to this point again. I support them emotionally to be prepared to go to class to learn. I have also “adopted” a couple of students that I mentor both personally and with academic affairs. My role is to guide our students to resources within the school. It is my responsibility to provide a welcoming experience in the office.  
What’s the most common misconception about your job?
I think that people who work outside of the school system may think that secretaries just answer the phone and greet visitors. They fail to realize that the office is the grand central station of the school. Our work is a mix of everything. Not only answering the phones, but supporting teachers with their needs, helping the administrators with projects, and most importantly guiding and helping our students that come into the office. 
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
Balancing the paperwork that needs to be done, and making sure that everyone that comes in the office (students, parents, tutors, teachers etc.) have everything that they need, and that all their questions are answered. As a secretary you have to make sure that you manage the office, and try to make sure that it is always a welcoming environment for visitors, and a safe and welcoming place for our students.
Why did you choose to perform your job in the schools and not in another industry?
I have previously worked in other industries as a secretary, but I feel fulfilled working in the school. I love working with our students because each day is so different. Our students need us for support and encouragement when they are not at home. They look to the adults at school to help them succeed; not only our teachers, but all support staff. Our kids find that one person that they can connect with and trust to go to daily with any problems, or to just share their accomplishments. I truly believe that it takes a village to raise a child.

 For the next few weeks, to learn about the role support staff plays in the schools, Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Meet Your Educator profiles will feature non-teaching professionals.