Shereima Smith is a Pupil Personnel Worker (PPW) at Long Reach High School, Mayfield Woods Middle School, and Deep Run Elementary School. This is her first year at these schools, and she has been enjoying getting to know the community so far. She explains her job description as “A position in which I can be a barrier breaker for students in the education system.” The essential duties of her job entail supporting families in need.
On a daily basis, she may come in contact with students, their families, teachers, administrators, and any other community stakeholders. During a regular school day, she would spend about 2-3 hours in a school building, otherwise, she spent her time holding meetings and conducting home visits. She does have another office at Central Office that she can go to from time to time.
Due to Covid, she said that her job description has changed a lot. Smith said that she can no longer continue in-person visits, and her resources have become more limited. Those resources may include food banks or gift cards for less fortunate families. She can only help families so much now that she has to do virtual meetings. “I have lost my personal touch with families. I have to think more out the box to figure out how to reach everyone, and get them what they need,” she said about the new challenges of her job. Since Smith has been back in the building recently, she is limiting her contact with everyone and has been sanitizing her surroundings. She has also gotten the vaccine. Smith is excited to get back to working with families and getting to know people more in-depth, but she is worried about the health conditions around her. It is because of PPWs and other education workers that families have found support during these challenging times. Workers, like Smith, have been doing their best to keep the gears of society moving forward so that we can get back to our normal lives and routines.