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The Student News Site of Foothill Technology High School

The Foothill Dragon Press

The Student News Site of Foothill Technology High School

The Foothill Dragon Press

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Hidden Heroes: Highlighting the indispensable role of Jean Barrett

Luigirey Guce
Foothill Technology High School’s (Foothill Tech) success is powered by multiple teachers and staff. Jean Barrett is in her second school year at Foothill Tech as the school support secretary. She ensures that each student has their paperwork finalized. Behind the scenes on campus, Barrett assists the assistant principal with tracking students behavior and validates students absences and tardiness. Each year, Barrett helps out with the annual state testing making sure everything is run smoothly. On the Foothill Tech website all recent updates and news are published by this hidden hero.

Amid the ceaseless whirlwind of students, parents, teachers and administrators filtering in and out of the office building (Building A) of Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) sits one of the key pillars of the school: Jean Barrett. As the School Services Assistant II, also known as the school support secretary, Barrett has been serving the Foothill Tech community since the summer of 2022, for nearly two years, as well as at Ventura Unified School District (Ventura Unified) for six months before that. 

Starting her day at 7:45 a.m. and ending it at 4:15 p.m., Barrett fulfills a seemingly endless list of duties. Her job includes managing field trips, organizing the calendar, issuing orders for purchasing and taking facility requests and guest speaker forms. In addition, she supports other administrators with attendance and student behavior issues.

Despite being such an integral part of Foothill Tech, Barrett herself did not grow up in Ventura, originally residing in Fullerton, Calif. One of the reasons why she began working at Foothill Tech was because her children attend Sunset School within VUSD. Barrett explained, “I wanted something that aligned with their schedules, and I’ve had similar jobs in the past working in offices, so I applied.”

Every student at Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) is required to stop by the school office to acquire their tardy pass. Every morning, Jean Barrett assists students coming in late and sending them to class. (Luigirey Guce)

As an office staff member, Barrett has been able to build  many valuable relationships with staff members and students alike. She mentions that this is her favorite aspect of the job, “I really like working with the students. I like seeing them … grow, and … figure out what they’re [going to do] with their lives. It’s fun to interact with them.”

She continues, saying, “I really like all the support that I receive from them … everybody has been so welcoming,” elaborating that her fellow staff members were patient and helpful when she first began her job at Foothill Tech.

Putting an impressive amount of work and dedication into her job, Barrett is immensely appreciated by the community of Foothill Tech.  Students, teachers and fellow staff members have noticed the effort and have greatly benefited from it. 

Assistant Principal Katie Tedford sees this every day, stating, “Ms. Barrett is amazing. She’s very detail-oriented and she loves kids, and she truly cares about them. She’s one of the sharpest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. She foresees problems before they present themselves, she’s very confident, she takes initiative and is always able to solve all the problems that students, staff members and administrators have.” 

You guys are all doing great, and I know it’s stressful [right now], but you’re going to make it through… If you’re having a hard time, remember to always reach out; there’s lots of people who care about you here.”

— Jean Barrett, School Services Assistant II

Much of Foothill Tech’s staff mentioned that Barrett does not simply do her tasks, but she completes them in a very timely and efficient manner, and before many even realize a task needed to be completed. On top of that, Barrett was described as an incredibly kind and optimistic person.

“She is always a pleasure to work with, she’s always upbeat, and she’s so competent. If you ask her for something, you know whatever the ask is, it’s going to happen,” Kristen Pelfrey, the College and Careers (C3) and Creative Writing and Film Studies teacher, said. Pelfrey added, “Anytime we have an upbeat, positive person that adds to our community it’s a pure pleasure.”

The students, who commonly go to Barrett for help before, during or after school for a plethora of different reasons, whether they are late to school or need to leave early, have gained quite an admiration for her as their friendly interactions have gone a long way. 

Student Channing McClure ‘25 shared her opinion on the matter, “She’s learned my name after probably about two times [of] going to the office for being late. She always has a smile every time she greets me.”

A testament to this, student Emma Buffalohead ‘24 shared, “She’s never once acted like she’s annoyed with us coming in, she’s just really sweet and helpful to all the students.”

There are over 7.7 million individuals working within the public school system across the United States, and without essential workers like Jean Barrett, a successful education would not be possible. So, the next time you walk through the office, whether it’s for submitting a form or clearing an absence, make sure to thank Jean Barrett and all of the office workers!

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About the Contributors
Jane Kim
Jane Kim, Writer
First-year writer with a passion for music, current events and science.
Kalea Eggertsen
Kalea Eggertsen, Writer
Aspiring fiction author and first-year writer who has been at it ever since she could hold a pencil.
Jenna Ostrom
Jenna Ostrom, Multimedia Editor
Just your average teen who loves to flip, film and fall asleep.
Luigirey Guce
Luigirey Guce, Photographer
I'm a junior photographer who enjoys playing basketball and listening to Drake. :)

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    ChloeMay 7, 2024 at 7:49 pm

    Jean is the best!!