The importance of the West Office 

Grand Island Senior High’s West Office does a lot to run GISH.

By Kadence Davidson, Reporter

         What actually goes on behind the West Office doors at Grand Island Senior High? 

         There are a lot of things and people that go into sustaining a school of this size and keep Grand Island Senior High running.

         Secretary Kathy White’s job includes answering incoming phone calls, checking students in and out and delivering postal mail to staff. 

         White said that in order to keep the school running smoothly there needs to be good communication between the staff, students and parents. 

         She said she also thinks that even though they have a good communication system it could always be better. 

         White was asked who she thought was the most important person in the school and she said the students because “they are the future generation.” 

         One thing White said she uses the most is her computer. The impact White has on the school may be small but very significant; she “informs teachers and all of the staff of everything going on with students.”

         Julia Markvicka, the counselor of the Law and Public Safety Academy, does scheduling college and career advising, provides mental health resources and works with a team for academy success. 

         Markvicka said she believes communication is important in the school.

         When asked who she thought was the most important person in the school, she said the receptionists because “they are the first positive contact for students and families.”

         If Markvicka could change anything about the school she said she would change the hours to a 9-5 job and there would be better transportation to off sites to make going from one place to another easier. 

         Administrative assistant Linda Shenk is an assistant to Mr.Gilbertson. She answers anywhere from 70 to 100 or more phone calls in the West Office. 

         Shenk said that the most important thing she does in a day is keeping everything organized. She has a lot of things on her plate and has to stay organized in order to have an efficient manner. 

         When asked who she thought was the most important person in the school her answer was “You have to have everyone in order for it to work.”

         Shenk, when asked what she does most in a day, said, “I put out fires but not literal fires.”

         “Personal barber” (he cuts his own hair) Nathan Helzer is the principal of the Business and Communication Academy. The most important thing Helzer does is working with staff members and “listening to the ideas and suggestions of the staff and supporting them.” 

         They guide his actions towards success and when asked who is the most important person in the school Helzer said it is the students because the adults got into the business to support the students and give them opportunities. 

         One thing Helzer said he thinks needs to be worked on and changed is to celebrate more, instead of focusing on the things that are not worth celebrating. 

         Helzer said he believes that the most important thing he does is communicate with others, specifically the administrators  

         “I learn from others,” Helzer said.

         Jeff Gilbertson is the executive principal of Grand Island Senior High and oversees the whole school–all teachers, principals and counselors. 

         Gilbertson said the most important person in the school is the students. 

         Gilbertson said, “That’s why we come to school everyday. Everything we do is for student learning and welfare.”

         Gilbertson communicates most during his day and is in the hallways more than his office  this year because he has a  “desire to be visible and supportive of students and staff.”

         Gilbertson makes sure to greet students and say goodbye to students everyday. His number one goal is to get 100% of students to attend school everyday.

         There is a lot that goes into running a school of this size, and this is just an insight into some of the people and things involved. 

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