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The Student News Site of Wheeling Park High School

The Park Press

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Hidden Heroes

Melissa+Pickens+scanning+a+students+ID.
Alice Joseph
Melissa Pickens scanning a students ID.

Every student knows their teachers throughout the years as well as their administrators at Park. However, there are many other staff members who don’t always get recognized for what they do for all the students, teachers, and even administrators at this school.

“We get everything prepared for at least 900 for lunch and probably 300 for breakfast,” said Melissa Pickens, a cook at Wheeling Park. “We get here at 5:45 a.m. and we leave at 1:30 p.m.”

Pickens deals with hundreds of students each day and starts prepping for the job extremely early in the morning, yet many students don’t even know who she is. 

“One of the main things I do is coordinate graduation,” said Dottie Boyd, secretary for the main office. “I got to make sure all your names are correct so the diplomas are right… getting the list to Balfour for the colors of the cap and gown. Doing the honor cords and things for the program. That’s why I have to stay late because it is hard to get this done during the hustle and bustle of the day.”

Not only does Mrs. Boyd have to do her secretary work and handle students during the day, but she must also deal with planning out graduation and making sure everything works out accordingly. This is a huge job for just one person to have and she executes it very well. 

Many students don’t realize the amount of work that is put in behind the scenes for their meals and even their graduation. This applies to the custodians as well who make sure that the school stays clean every single day.

“Sometimes the kids will thank us for what we do, but not a whole lot. It’s about fifty-fifty,” said Tara Burnsworth, a custodian at Wheeling Park.

Students may not realize the amount of work that goes into the many jobs around Park, but should be more appreciative of these hidden heroes. Staff members such as Burnsworth deserve the same appreciation and credit as any teacher or employee. So next time you see a custodian, cook, aid, or secretary, make sure to smile and thank them for their hard work and dedication, even if it may go unnoticed by some. 

“I am a one-on-one aid for Nicholas Parsons who is in a walker so I work with him physically,” said Crista Davis, Paraprofessional Autism Mentor.

Mrs. Davis helps out a lot with being an aide and has been recognized for her hard and outstanding work; however, many students may not actually know this about her. It is important to shed light on these achievements and all the work these staff members put in every single day.

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About the Contributor
Alice Joseph, Staff Writer
  • Journalism I
  • Senior
  • Captain on the Speech and Debate Team, Young Patriots, and Park Players
  • "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." -John F. Kennedy
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