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Appreciation Committee creates posters for staff appreciation

Director+of+Community+Service+Kerry+Enzensperger+and+Alyssa+Huang+%2811%29+position+the+posters.+LIFE+agreed+to+lend+their+bulletin+board+to+the+Appreciation+Committee.
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Appreciation Committee creates posters for staff appreciation

Director of Community Service Kerry Enzensperger and Alyssa Huang (11) position the posters. LIFE agreed to lend their bulletin board to the Appreciation Committee.

Director of Community Service Kerry Enzensperger and Alyssa Huang (11) position the posters. LIFE agreed to lend their bulletin board to the Appreciation Committee.

Nicole Tian

Director of Community Service Kerry Enzensperger and Alyssa Huang (11) position the posters. LIFE agreed to lend their bulletin board to the Appreciation Committee.

Nicole Tian

Nicole Tian

Director of Community Service Kerry Enzensperger and Alyssa Huang (11) position the posters. LIFE agreed to lend their bulletin board to the Appreciation Committee.

by Nicole Tian, Reporter

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Lining a bulletin board in one of the corridors in Manzanita are 17, out of the 24, beaming faces of the upper school kitchen staff, accompanied by their favorite sports teams, music, bucket list items and other similar questions. Executive Chef Steve Martin, who has been on staff since Harker was a K-8 boarding school, loves the Red Sox and the Patriots while Kelly Esguerra, who has been a cook at Coney Island for almost a year, loves Asian food and the 49ers.

This project brings attention to multiple branches of the staff on our campus starting from food services. The members of the Appreciation Committee on student council, Alyssa Huang (11), William Chien (9) and Evan Cheng (11), first came up with this idea during the fall while considering ways to bring together students and other members of the Harker faculty they may not interact with on a daily basis.

“We set up interviews with all of them and then we talked to them one-on-one and asked them some basic questions about their personalities and fun facts about them. They really like that, and they just felt so appreciated; they were the nicest people ever,” Appreciation Committee leader Alyssa said.

Nicole Tian
Fourteen of the seventeen flyers of the kitchen staff are posted in Manzanita. They included questions such as favorite sports teams, music, and bucket list items.

Before deciding on making posters, they mulled through a variety of other choices, such as giving a PowerPoint presentation at a school meeting, encouraging student and staff bonding activities or conducting video interviews but chose flyers due to their accessibility. The main logistical difficulty was organizing times for the interviews, since the kitchen staff are busy during most of the school day. Despite the challenges in coordination, they were able to collect all of the information before winter break.

“We had different members of the committee doing different things. We had Alyssa and Neil [Ramaswamy (12)] reaching out for the interviews; we had all the members do the actual interviews, and as for making the flyers, Alyssa, William and I created them on Canva,” Evan said.

Not only does this project increase communication between students and faculty, but it also led to conversations between the kitchen staff about their posters.

“The kitchen staff appreciates the recognition,” Assistant to Executive Chef Sarah Wollbrinck said. “The pictures/posted interviews are a great conversation starter. A lot of the staff are talking amongst themselves comparing favorite movies and books, etc.”

Nicole Tian
Director of Community Service Kerry Enzensperger prepares to staple one of the flyers. Preparation on the posters began as early as this fall.

The committee hopes that these posters will encourage the students to pay more attention to the often overlooked dedication of the staff around our school and feels that it is crucial for the community to show their gratitude.

“I feel like staff appreciation is super important, especially in our school, because our kitchen staff [and] everyone working on this campus do so much for the students, and often it’s overlooked,” William said. “In reality, they go so far above and beyond…we truly need to realize and appreciate them because of how much they’re doing for us.”

The group hopes to do the same for the custodians, gardeners, security and other facilities by the end of the year and has already reached out to the heads of these departments. They are currently working on coordinating more interviews.

“For the other staff, for example the janitorial staff, they go around school, so it is harder to pinpoint a central location,” Evan said. “In addition to making posters or flyers, another thing we have to do is to look for good locations to put up the flyers.”

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Appreciation Committee creates posters for staff appreciation