The Rocket Flame

A Day In the Life of Dr. Stokes

Many jobs go unnoticed but are essential to make a school district work. One of these jobs is that of our business director, Dr. Marcia Stokes. I was given the opportunity to shadow Stokes to find out just how much she does that goes unnoticed.

Madison Dorsey

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7:30 a.m.-8:50 a.m.- Stokes came into Central Office at 7:30 a.m. and started her day by replying to emails and making phone calls. This particular day, she introduced me to everyone in the office, so at 8 a.m., she began her emailing and calling. By half-past eight, she had made numerous phone calls about several topics such as the swimmers going to States, training staff, and volunteers.

 

In between phone calls and emails, Stokes explained how things worked around Central Office. There are many people that complete tons of jobs and tasks, such as Mrs. Loretta Miller, who is the administrative assistant to the Superintendent, but she also works on contracts, scholarships, and many other activities.

 

Even though all the members of Central Office have numerous jobs to complete throughout the day, they all work together to better our district.

 

“The more we improve, the better service we can provide our community, our teachers, and our students,” said Stokes.

 

8:50 a.m.- 10:11 a.m.- At this time, Stokes arrived at the high school to conduct an interview with a prospective head janitor, along with Mrs. Sharon Miller, Human Resources Director, and Mr. Stanley Morgan, Facilities Director.  After Stokes asked several interview questions, she then took the interviewee to an empty boys’ bathroom and classroom to inquire how he would clean the room. As the time wound down, she gave him a tour of some of the major areas of the school, such as the gymnasium, auditorium, and pool.

Stokes ensured that the candidate holds the same ideals that the rest of the district does, which she thinks is the most important quality we have.

“I think everybody’s heart is in the right place in this district,” said Stokes.“I think that they see the potential, they see the awesome kids, great teachers that we have, and everybody is just trying to figure out how they can contribute to the district.”

“I am in a position that I can make a difference,” Stokes said. “And in this district, I can make a difference to 2,500 kids every single day that I come in here, along with 165 teachers, hundreds of support staff, and thousands of community members.”  ”

 

10:11 a.m.- Once the interview was finished, Stokes headed back to Central Office to attend a meeting with MissionOne, a company that provides our district with staff to assist the students throughout their school day. In this meeting, Stokes and Miller listened to the company’s concerns and discussed how to make the system run more efficiently.

 

11:12 a.m.-12:16 p.m.- Once the meeting was ended, Stokes headed back to her office and started looking over invoices and journal entries that another Central Office worker, Mrs. Ann Brindle, dropped off. Before signing off on the papers, if she saw something that did not make sense, she would inquire throughout the office to make sure the information was correct.

 

While constantly making sure our district is headed in the right direction, Stokes is in correspondence with many people, whether in or out of the office.

 

“I have always had pretty demanding jobs, so it wouldn’t be normal for my day to end at four o’clock, and I went home and didn’t have to think about work or do anything with work,” said Stokes. “Many of the jobs you are on call or responding to emails till 9 or ten o’clock at night.”

 

Stokes is a busy woman, but she likes to find ways to take her mind off of work to improve her work ethic.

 

“Anytime that I can, even if it is like getting away for a weekend or what not, I love to travel. My family and I got into RVing a few years ago,” said Stokes. “The one thing I like to do when I travel, especially when I go RVing, is I try and break away and focus on family and not focus on work, so when I come back I’m refreshed.”

 

12:16 p.m.-1:02 p.m.- At this point in time, Mr. Rick Burkett, Curriculum Director, came in to tell us it was lunchtime. On this day, the office staff was having a St. Patrick’s Day potluck. With a variety of food, everyone gathered into the meeting room to eat together around the table.

 

1:02 p.m.-1:36 p.m.- During this time, Stokes went back to her office to look over more documents. Morgan comes in with a survey for Stokes. Schools are asked to participate in these facility surveys in order to collect data from the buildings. This data can range from the number of custodians to how many A/C units there are. If the school participates, they get results from other schools to see where they need to improve their facilities.

 

1:36 p.m.-2:45 p.m.- A woman from the district’s insurance company came in to go over the renewed insurance package for the district. Some of the subjects that went over were coverage for drones, the district’s vehicles and the drivers, weapon holders, and non-weapon holders. At one point, Morgan made another reappearance to talk about inspections on elevators and wheelchair lifts. During this meeting, Mr. Larry Strawoet, Athletic Director, and Ms. Amanda Charron, Athletic Trainer, came in to meet with both the insurance company and Stokes.

 

2:45 p.m.-3:05 p.m.- After the insurance meeting, Stokes and I sat down for an interview.

 

3:05 p.m.- To finish up her day after I completed my interview, she settled back down at her desk continue with the invoices and other various paperwork.

 

Although her life is busy, Stokes makes the best out of it by continuing to learn. Even now, she is still taking college courses, but they are not the only way she learns. Hands-on experiences also help her gain knowledge.

 

“I’ve stripped and waxed floors in schools, simply because I wanted to work alongside custodians and wanted them to teach me what they do so I can better understand their job,” Stokes said. “I’m not afraid to YouTube something and figure out how to do it. It doesn’t matter what it is, I always kinda view it as ‘Why can’t I do it, too?”‘

“I always kind of feel like any new experience is going to add a little piece and a better-rounded person.””

What We Learned- After shadowing the school district’s business director, Dr. Marcia Stokes, we learned how much she does for the district. She spends her days in meetings, looking over important documents, and using past experiences to assure that our district is advancing.

 

A lot of jobs go unnoticed. Many people at the Central Office dedicate their day to making ours better. Dr. Stokes is one of these people, but she is not alone; all of these people do so much for the district, and for that, we are all thankful.

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Madison Dorsey, Editor

Madison Dorsey, better known as Madi, participates in several extra curricular activities, such as Tennis, Art Club, Drama Club, JBHS Student Media, Relay...

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