From answering phone calls to filling out paperwork, the front office does it all.
Alex Bruss, former front office secretary, and Miriam Mares, front office assistant, are key factors in making our school run as smoothly as possible.
Bruss recently left Godwin to take another position and is preceded by Jennifer Jensen.
Jensen has worked at Godwin for five years as an instructional assistant with the special education department and is very happy with her new position as office secretary. “I am a people person! I love meeting new people and I love helping others.”
Some of their daily tasks include answering and directing phone calls, greeting and assisting students and families as they enter the building, and checking any teacher absences that need to be filled in for the day.
The front office is constantly busy with the number of phone calls and students that come through every hour.
Before working at Godwin, Bruss attended college and worked outside of a school setting.
“I was a Personal Banker and an Operations Specialist with Wells Fargo Bank. I have been working at Godwin since March 2019. I graduated college from Randolph-Macon College in 2014,” said Bruss.
Mares worked in the same field before coming to Godwin.
“I worked at Crestar Bank in the Commercial Lending department when I graduated school. I was a substitute teacher when my kids were in elementary school. I have been at Godwin for seven years. I went to East Carolina University and have a business degree,” said Mares.
Jensen graduated from Godwin in 1991 and had a tandem of jobs before coming back. “I worked for my husband, he owns his own landscaping business and I was also Front End Manager at American Family Fitness Short Pump.”
While her workday is normally hectic, Mares would not change what she does.
“The office is usually busy. I help numerous students throughout the day; hundreds come through the office and I love seeing all of them,” said Mares.
The front office staff is faced with a variety of tasks during their day. Some are more tedious and difficult than others.
“The hardest task to complete is the packet for disciplinary action. This packet has to exactly match the guideline set forth by the Central Office. To me, they are a fun challenge,” said Bruss.
The front office helps with all the underground processes that help everyday run as smoothly as possible. One of the most important factors is making sure the office and the school are on the same page with any complications that may occur during the day.
“Communication to and from the office happens smoothly. It is a team effort,” said Bruss.
Some of Godwin’s yearly events are made possible with the help of the front office.
“As a team, the front office assists with a variety of events. We help intake and process student payments for school dance tickets and help put together graduation packets (tickets, documents, etc.),” said Bruss.
While some of the tasks can be mundane, front office personnel Bruss thoroughly enjoys her job at Godwin.
“My favorite part of the job is getting to know the students. Building relationships with them and their families is very rewarding since I am a people person. I enjoy being around and helping others,” said Bruss.
Like Bruss, Mares enjoys the service she is able to give to others while working at the front of the school.
“The favorite thing about my job and the variety of my day and being able to assist students and faculty at Godwin,” said Mares.
Since working in a few fields of business, Bruss has a few pieces of advice for anyone pursuing a career like hers.
“Keep your education going. Look into Computer Science and Data Classes. Public Speaking and Communications. These can help build critical skill sets and boost your confidence in the workforce,” said Bruss.
Like Bruss, Mares also finds importance in education and hard work.
“Work hard at any job you have, no matter how menial you think the work is. You never know what you will learn from that job or what connections you will make,” said Mares.