VOK: behind the scenes workers at KHS

Aimee Pullen, SSD area coordinator

TKC: What is your favorite part about working at Kirkwood?

“I would have to say my favorite part [of working at Kirkwood] is the feeling of inclusiveness, teamwork and collaboration throughout the school. I see the collaboration, not just with the administrative team, I see it with teachers and students. For example, I work in the special education department and I see how all administrators see all kids as their kids. And this goes all the way down to the students with organizations like circle of friends which do an amazing job of including everyone.”

TKC: What has been your favorite day at KHS?

“I would say I have had a few and what makes those days favorite days is when you see a student make that connection or progress on something that they have been working hard on. The only thing that might top that is when you see the look on their parents face when they realize ‘my kid just did that’… that makes a favorite day.”

Julie Tadros, nurse

TKC: What is the worst issue you’ve dealt with?

“We’ve had issues with drugs and alcohol that have turned very severe. We’ve had asthma attacks and orthopedic injuries, like bone injuries, diabetic emergencies, anaphylactic reactions, allergic reactions that are life threatening that require epinephrine and an ambulance. Lots of things have happened over the years.”

TKC: What about those issues is so dangerous?

“I think issues with drugs and alcohol are always sad because it goes from being a discipline issue to being a substance abuse and addiction issue. You all seem so young to me and it’s an adult problem so, at that point, it’s an extreme sense of urgency getting someone help. I have children older than you, and I can see my own children when I look the students here and I understand that sense of urgency. It’s no longer a discipline issue, it’s a health issue. It’s an issue that we need to save lives. That’s what resonates with me is our need to help people get back on the course of being productive, happy people.”

Bob Thomas, custodian

 TKC: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever cleaned up?

“It was about four years ago, maybe five, and it was in the middle of the day between classes, and someone pooped in the senior hallway and I had to clean it up. I’d be damned. How could a student do something as stupid as that?”

TKC: What’s your favorite part about your job?

“Interacting with the students as you see time go on. Things have changed since I was little, and a lot of kids don’t have the respect for themselves along with others, and I think that some should be taught at home and some at school. But the thing is, is that a lot of the time, parents are so busy doing other things, they don’t see or understand how important it is to teach kids manners.