Thank a classified employee today

The Paw celebrates Classified Employee Appreciation Week


It’s Classified Employee Appreciation Week. The publications staff took some time to talk to some of the classified employees who make our lives at Tigard a little easier. Often they are the first faces we see in the morning and the last we see in the halls at night. Take some time this week to thank one of these important members of our community.

Shari Balcom gets the word out

By James Favot


Q: What’s your favorite part of this job?

A: I’d say getting to interact with students, teachers, and parents [and] getting to talk to people all day long.


Q: How does your role in communication help the whole school?

A: I like to think that I try to get out any information I have in as many ways as I can so that people know what the schedule’s gonna be or what’s happening.


Q: What are some of your biggest responsibilities?

A: The daily and weekly bulletin, daily emails to parents and students, [and] the slideshows.


Q: How’d you get interested in reception?

A: My kids went to Tigard High and I would always come in this office and I would look at the person and they would be on the phone and on the computer, talking to all these people, and I thought, ‘That looks like a lot of fun.’ When my daughter graduated I started subbing here and I subbed in that job, and I[…] got the job.


Q: Are there any difficulties to this job that you weren’t expecting when you first started?

A: I don’t think so. I think it’s the best job in the whole school, to be honest.


Q: If the student body recognizes you for just one thing this week, what would you most hope to be appreciated for?

A: I try to keep them informed.

Rachel Edwards is everyone’s mom

By Liz Blodgett


Q:How long have you been working here?

A:8 years.


Q: What do you do here?

A: Everything. Anything and everything. I work with everybody, administrators, teachers, students, staff, community. I kind of just get to be the mom in some ways.


Q:How do you think you’ve made an impact on THS?

A:I just wake up everyday and hope that in some way, whoever I come in contact with, I can help them along the way. Whether it’s a staff member, administrator, student, community member that when they come in, I can help them feel like they’ve been listened to and that I can help get them to where they have to be or answer their question. That’s part of what my job is too, but I just feel like if I can lift one person every day, I feel like then that would be the impact that I would want to make to let people know that I want to know them and that I care about them.


Q: How has having your granddaughter here impacted your job?

A: I love the teaching staff at Tigard High and now from her being here she’s come in contact with teachers and I’m in even more awe of the teaching staff. I have always been proud of Tigard High, but from her coming here from where she was, she talks about Tigard High and how nice the kids are and how many wonderful things are going on in the school; and it makes me proud that she’s here and that she loves it. She is gaining so much from being here.

Gus Jaramillo gets it done

By Olivia Young


It may be Classified Staff Appreciation Week, but Gus Jaramillo doesn’t slow down. He stays busy running around THS cleaning and repairing everyday things to improve our school. Whether he is mopping up spills, fixing pipes, or looking out for students, Gus is an important and vital part of the Tigard family.


Q: How long have you been working for Tigard?

A: Over 20 years.


Q: What do you do around Tigard? What do you cover?

A: It’s hard to tell what you’ll do on a regular basis, because you come to work thinking you might be able to… fix something you have work orders for. Then something else happens unexpected, so you don’t even do that, or you’re not even close to [doing that]. Something that can take 10-20 minutes takes an hour because you get interrupted- between ‘I need this!’ or ‘I need that!’, ‘[A student] got sick!’, so what do we do? We stop what we’re doing, because we have to take care of [the students].


Q: How has THS impacted your life, and vice versa?

A: I look back at my lifestyle that I had; I look back at what I used to do, and what I could do to help the kids do better than I did. I give good advice- watch what’s ahead of you, look ahead of you, get yourself [in a] better situation, make sure you go to college. I see [students] walking down the hallways and I say ‘What’re you doing,’ and they say, ‘Oh, I’m doing this,’ [and I say] ‘Nonono, go to your class,’. And I don’t just tell them [to go to class]; I take them myself. Because they won’t go to class; they’ll just take another lap, go somewhere else, then go back to class… And if that can help some kids to see things- because a lot of times they don’t listen to anyone.


Q: What’s your favorite thing about working for Tigard?

A: I think getting to know the kids, making sure they do the right thing, and the teachers- they’re good teachers- I’ll talk to them, we’ll work together. If one kid’s not doing too good, sometimes I say ‘Hey, [how’s that student doing?]’, ‘Well, they’re doing this and that’, well you know what? I can see that when they walk through the hallways. They’re really not going to use the restroom, they’re not really going to get a drink of water; they’re messing around….And I like to be here because I can see some changes in kids, and they come back to me years later… and say, ‘Gus, thank you for telling me, that day you told me about this or told me about that,’ I go, ‘Wow, you remember that?’, They say, ‘Yeah I remember that!’. I’ve been invited to their graduations from college… [They say] ‘I would like for you to be here, because you mean a lot to me when you stopped me in the hallway and said, ‘I need to go to college,’ And because of you, I can do college. So you get rewarded, and for me, in that way, it’s very valuable… I come from a big family, and no one ever, ever told me to go to college. I couldn’t afford to go to college either, because I didn’t make that much money. Right now there’s so many opportunities to go college, so start searching.


Ella Cowley
Brenda Anderton works in the Student Services Office.

The many jobs of Brenda Anderton

By Ella Cowley and Jaylun Davis


You may know her as the friendly face in the Student Services office, but she is so much more. She worked in the business world for years before making her transition to schools, first as a lunch lady before taking her job at Tigard.


Q: How was  being a lunch lady at an elementary school?

A: Horrible. It was the hardest job I’ve ever had.

Q: What’s the difference between working in an elementary school and a high school?

A: I can be more straightforward with the high school kids, and they’re young adults, and I love that.

Q: Are there any other schools you’ve worked at?(Other than Tigard High and Charles F. Tigard?)

A: I worked at Byrom Elementary.     

Q: What do you do when you aren’t at school?

A: I Garden, play the piano, get together with friends. And cooking’s fun; you just have to be patient. It’s science and that’s what I love about it.

Q: Where did you go to high school?.

A: Beaverton High School

Q: When and why did you start working in schools?

A: When was eight years ago, and why was because I love kids.

Q: What’s one random fact about yourself?

A: I worked in the business world for 25 years. I worked for a company called Marsh They’re a huge international company.

Q: Why did you leave the business world and why influenced you to pursue working at schools?

A: I decided I was done with business and that I just wanted to work in schools.