Meet Ms. Bianca, Office Manager at DAA

Photo credit: Ali Elisabeth Lapetina

If you've spent any time at DAA, you know that there are a few women that really run the show entirely. (Not me, I am really not even top three at the moment.)

Ms. Bianca is everyone's go to at DAA. She knows everything. If students have a question or project or need something, they will bypass me (and others) to go to her because they know she holds all the facts. I don't blame them, I do the same thing. 

Bianca was a founding DAA parent and when we had a sudden vacancy in the front desk position (which can be a super busy, intense role), I begged her to sit in for a week, as she was a super active parent, was at DAA all the time, and knew our kids, systems, rules, parents, everything! After the first week, I begged her to stay on for just one more week, promising her that we would find someone soon. Weeks came and went and we eventually just woke up and realized that she should be a permanent part of the school. Lucky for us, she agreed to stay! DAA wouldn't be the same without her!

A typical morning exchange will be something like -- 

Kyle: Hey Bianca.... sooo...... I am thinking of sending those one letters to families....... and then when we get them back, should we store them in this way or that way? *insert rambling about the pros and cons of each way* anyway, I don't know.... maybe we think about it and regroup after I have my coffee and a snack?

Bianca: I sent them out two days ago, most parents have already returned them because I reminded them. I am filing them here like this with this list to organize them.

She is just the best.  

Anyway, I convinced her to sit down with me for a Q&A so our online friends could meet her. (: 

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KSWhat do you like most about your job?
BCI like being able to help the kids and the families. I like helping things run smoothly, like the communication between parents and staff.

KSWhat is the hardest part about your job?
BCThe hardest part is keeping communication open so that I can communicate the necessary information to families and so I can be in the know.

KSWhat is a typical day for you?
BCMy day starts by getting on the bus at 7:10a with all the bus riders. Once we arrive at DAA, I go get a cup of ice for ice water for my whole day. At 8:01am, I start signing in tardy students, writing passes, and sending them to class. At 9:00 I make calls to absent students. Throughout the day, I do many miscellaneous things - from helping teachers with projects and homework folders to working on reports and letters home. It is different every day. All the while, I am handling answering the phones and the wide range of expected and unexpected visitors that come to DAA. There are also kids having bad days in and out of the office throughout the day. I usually get my first moment to take a break at 1:00pm. At about 3:00pm, parents start arriving for dismissal so I have to be all over that. At 3:45pm, I line the bus riders back up and we get on the bus. To end my day, I get off the bus at 4:20p.

KSWhat is something that people might not know about you?
BCPeople might not know that off hours I bartend at a local spot.

KSWhat is something that people might not know about DAA?
BCI feel like people might not know that all staff know all the kids’ names. It feels like a family situation rather than a job for a paycheck. At any given moment, any adult will correct or help any student and know the student’s name and the situation.