An Officer and an Ambassador

LEFT: Officer Georgia Gonzalez watches as students pass through the main hallway during passing period. “I really like interacting with the students as they go to class.” Gonzalez said. Photo by Gregory James.

LEFT: Officer Georgia Gonzalez watches as students pass through the main hallway during passing period. “I really like interacting with the students as they go to class.” Gonzalez said. Photo by Gregory James.

The bell rings. Students crowd the main hallway as they make their way to their next class. A din fills the hallway as students talk to each other about their last class, or how some sports team is doing, but one voice rises above the general murmur. Security monitor Georgia Gonzalez can be heard saying, “Get to class!” or “Hats off please.”

Gonzalez has done this job every school day for the last 10 years. She is, however, not just a hall monitor. Her job can entail many different jobs.

“You don’t know what the day will bring,” Gonzalez said. “You can be helping someone who is sick, or be a substitute teacher in a classroom. It all depends on what we need help with that day.”

Gonzalez indentified her dream job early in her life.

“Ever since I was little I knew I wanted to be some type of officer.” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t know what type of officer, but I knew I wanted to have a job in that line of work.”

Gonzalez originally worked with the parole board, but when her office at the parole board flooded from rain, her supervisor told her she could go home for the day. That’s when she decided to apply to be a correctional officer.

“I just decided to act then to realize my childhood dream,” Gonzalez said.

She passed the test for becoming a correctional officer and was sent off to Gatesville for six weeks of training.

“My life changed pace really quickly,” Gonzalez said. “Going from a desk job to field training right away.”

In 2007 Gonzalez was looking for a new job. She applied to be a security monitor at Lanier High School, but then McCallum called her to notify her of a job opening. She interviewed and got the McCallum job.

“It was something different, and that’s what I liked about it. I would get to spend time with my family because I would have the summers off, compared to my job as a correctional officer,” Gonzalez said. “I also didn’t have to worry as much about my son Jonathan, because if something were to happen him at school, I’d be here. I like working with him.”

She made a strong positive initial impression on principal Mike Garrison. Garrison, who has worked at McCallum 14 years, remembers being particularly impressed by Georgia’s resume.

“Her personality was great, her disposition was good for this job, she had a lot of past work experience, and really what sold me on hiring her was her references all spoke highly of her,” Garrison said. “We’re glad to have Georgia all the time; she has good judgment, she is great with the students and staff, and she is above all else, dependable.”

Garrison also boasted about how well Georgia interacts with all of the students.

“I think the students have a great relationship with her because she takes the time to involve herself in so many school activities like Teachers & Tiaras and pep rallies,” Garrison said
“The faculty and students at MAC love her for being so involved and I do as well,” Garrison said.

Second-year journalism teacher Dave Winter remembered being sold on McCallum after Gonzalez took his family on a campus tour before he and his family even moved to Texas.

“She was so friendly,” Winter said, “and it seemed like every student we encountered went out of their way to say hello to her as we toured the building.”

Garrison believes the key to this rapport is pretty simple.

“I believe she enjoys her job, she loves being around people, and contributing to McCallum in any way she can,” Garrison said. “Ms. Georgia is committed to making McCallum a better place for all the students and staff.”

 

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