Jessica Swagger – MHS Counselor

Question: What do you like about working at Madras High School?

Answer: “I love working with the kids. I also think the staff is great. Like we have a great staff that’s supportive and the camaraderie here and my colleagues they’re always willing to pitch in and help and I think that makes a lot of difference.”

Question: How long have you worked for the district?

Answer: “I’ve worked for Jefferson County School District for 15 years, 12 years at Madras High School and three at Bridges High School.

Question: What is your favorite part about being a counselor and what do you do?

Answer: “I love helping the kids. When I was at Bridges, it was all about seeing hope in their eyes after, you know, not being able to be successful in school. And you just get to see the kids in an entirely different way when they come into the counseling office. It’s a completely different atmosphere. “We kind of like to tell the kids like we’re the go to resource person. If they have a question come to us and we know where to answer it.”

Question: What made you want to become a school counselor?

Answer: “I spent nine years here at as a English teacher. When I was about 10 years into teaching, I decided I wanted to do something different. Like I always felt like, like as a teacher, I didn’t get to spend enough time making relationships with kids that I wanted and so I looked into school counseling.”

Question: You took over as cross country coach this season. How did that go and what are you looking forward to?

Answer: “I have been running for a few years now and they needed someone to coach cross country. Mario Mendoza has been helping me with some different things and workouts and stuff, and so I agreed to do it and I ended up having a lot of fun. It was a great season and I just want to continue to build for next year and I think as I learn more and my skills improve, then I’ll be able to help the kids with their goals better. Like the kids were great and then I was able to do some running with them. Then Isaiah and Hannah make state and that was amazing. Just the whole atmosphere and how great it was and they had a great time. So, my goals for the year was that the kids had fun and no one got hurt and I met both of those goals.

Brenda Velazco & Erin Brown – WSK8 Custodians

Question: What was your reaction when you found out you were nominated for the December Classified Team Spotlight?


ERIN: “Well, you know, it makes me feel good because we work hard here. There’s a lot of real estate here. There’s a big school. It’s a nice school, and we take pride in it. And it’s nice to know that people realize that we’re doing our job and we’re doing it where it’s acknowledged.”

BRENDA: “It feels really great to be recognized and that it’s being noticed that we are putting a lot of hard work into the school. We do take a lot of pride into it. So, I’m happy that they did notice it.”

Question: How long have you worked for the district?


ERIN: “I started a year ago in October.”

BRENDA: “I started in August, middle of August.”

Question: You two were nominated as a team. What is it like to work together?


ERIN:”It’s been kind of interesting because we’ve had to work as a team because we’ve been shorthanded, and so it’s worked out really good. We both are go getters and we both move pretty fast at the same pace.”

BRENDA: “We’re fast paced, and we work pretty hard together. It’s easy. I know her next move. She’ll know my next move. Like, we’re just we’re great together.”

Question: What is your favorite part about working as a custodian at WSK8 and working with each other?


ERIN: “My favorite part is two things. I’ve always had to get up early in the morning for my other jobs. This is swing shift. And I never thought I would like swing shift but I love swing shift because I don’t have to wake up to an alarm. The other thing that I like about it is the exercise. Like I say we put on anywhere from 17,000 Steps To what 22,000, 24,000 steps and it’s good exercise.”

BRENDA: “The exercise, but I think the most of all is our teamwork. You know, our dynamic is just it’s the best, but I couldn’t have picked anybody else to work with then with Erin and she is great. I mean, I couldn’t have asked for a better coworker.

ERIN: “I’d pick Brenda but there was two people 200 or 2000. I’d pick Brenda and I feel exactly the same, not just because you said it but we really are the dynamic duo.”

Question: What does your day to day look like as a custodian?


ERIN “We clean the rooms we clean everything from the locker rooms to the gym, to the Kinder classrooms to the staff room and we each have our own halls and we’re responsible for them. brenda and I have been doing this whole school ourselves, kindergarten through eighth grade, and so we’ve done it all. I mean, from the floors to the ceilings, to changing lightbulbs to plumbing. We’ve been grinding.”

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