Serving as a health assistant at Mayfair since 2005, Sandra Alonzo, or Sandy, is our faculty spotlight for this month. She is well-known among students at Mayfair as she is constantly aiding those who enter her office. Nearing the end of such an unprecedented year, I felt as though speaking and learning from someone who was dealing with most of the chaos of this year was necessary.
Although many of us students recognize her as the school nurse, she technically is not. She elaborates that she cannot be considered a nurse since she does not possess a nursing degree, though she is working hard to receive one. However, she reveals that despite the fact that she does not have a nursing degree, her job at Mayfair is to, “treat you like we’d want our own kids treated.”
Ms. Sandy gives the details as to how she joined Mayfair staff, “I kinda followed my kids I guess.” She started at the Craig Williams Elementary School health office, then promptly moved to Mayfair to remain near her children. Even though her kids have graduated from Mayfair, thankfully, she continues to stay on Mayfair staff. Another factor that definitely keeps her working here is the fact that she currently has a grandson attending Mayfair as well.
In addition to her job at our health office, she also works in the Emergency Room at Lakewood Regional Medical Center as soon as her shift at Mayfair ends. She is often working and caring for others, even while we were speaking for a quick 10 minutes, 3 students entered her office. As stated before, she is constantly working but she finds time for herself in spending time outdoors, maintaining her yard, and going to Bath and Body Works.
Finally, when asked about the Covid-19 tracing and testing procedures, she describes what sounded like pure stress and exhaustion. She explains that some students had suspicious symptoms or they were exposed at home. If the student was exposed, they then can either be tested at a facility or take an at-home test provided by the school. If the student was negative, they were to bring that result to the health office indicating that they were safe to be in school. If not, they were to inform the school of the positive result and then come in to Ms. Sandy. She had to call classes in which the afflicted students were in to inform the students around that person that they had been exposed. She reveals that she had received calls from multiple frantic parents. When asked how she handled that she said, “You just have to listen to these people because a lot of it is just education. People don't understand, they are scared and they don't want their kids to stay out of school… You just have to stop and listen.” Surprisingly enough, Ms. Sandy reveals that of the students she tested at school, she only received about two positive results. She is truly admirable, as I cannot imagine having to encounter frustrated, fearful parents and students then leaving to work at another 9 to 5 with similar encounters.
She genuinely loves working at Mayfair; she enjoys aiding others and says that the students keep her young. Though perhaps she may not want to see you in the health office, if you ever need help in any way, Sandra is there to help you. She is a true empathetic woman who genuinely wants the best for every student that enters her office. She states, “I’ve been here a long time, I've heard just about everything so don’t think you're putting anything over on me.”