Senior Emily Staples was a photographer for one year and is now the photo editor for The Express and BVNWnews.com. She is involved in NHS, Quill and Scroll National Honor Society for High School Journalists and PEEPs. She likes bath bombs and Bernie Sanders, and her favorite part of newspaper is the dance parties.
Attendance Clerk Carol Hess
May 1, 2016
Attendance Clerk Carol Hess has checked in thousands of students coming to school late in her 23 years at BVNW, listening to their own and their parents’ reasons behind the absence and holding them accountable for the time they miss.
Hess said she forms bonds with students who are upfront about their tardiness.
“It’s a trust issue,” Hess said. “When they let me know what’s going on, I work with them. If they don’t let me know, I can’t do anything about it. I try to work with them, gain their trust. Hopefully they know that they can always come to me if they need something. That’s very important to me.”
She said she is always able to tell when a parent’s reason for their child’s absence is an excuse. A frequent excuse that comes up, according to Hess, is a doctor’s appointment. She said she encountered many phone calls on “senior skip day,” which was April 25, regarding doctor’s appointments.
“I get tired of dishonesty, because I’m trying to be upfront with people and if they can’t be honest with me, it hurts,” Hess said. “It’s like they think that I’m a robot. [Parents] will just tell me a non-truth about getting their kids out because it’s senior skip day or something, so they’ll lie about it. It’s kind of like a slap in the face.”
While student and parental dishonesty frustrates her and even makes her feel burned out, Hess said she understands the reasons behind the excuses. She said the reason why she’s stuck with this position is that she gets to be there for students.
“I don’t care if you’re late, I don’t care why, just come talk to me,” Hess said. “It makes me feel good, and it makes me feel like I’m there for you. I’m not here to be the enemy…I’m here for you and I want you to feel safe in school.”