Glass Windows add To Safety

Two new secretaries and structure provide protection in the front office


Sasha Smith

Karena Ganter helping as student as she enters the building

Sasha Smith, Staff Reporter

Safety is a key aspect that many schools aim to provide, especially as violence against schools becomes increasingly more common across the United States. We’ve taken many precautions to prevent a possible intruder, however, despite the amount of officers, or doors, we add to the building, it’s who we let through in the building that matters most. Regardless of her being new to the district, our new front office secretary, Shawna Robinson, has been doing a great job at managing the front door.

“Me and my husband got married last October, and we decided it would be best if I worked part time, and stayed with the kids, and I saw Parkway had an opening last year, and jumped at the chance,” Robinson said. “I think Central is a really good school, many of the kids are really nice, as well as my coworkers.”

As the main font office secretary, Robinson is the one who chooses who to let into the building, whether it be late students, parents, vendors, guests or anyone else. While she’s familiar with the usual people coming in and out, she has to follow her instincts when a new person comes in.

“Since I’m familiar with many of the students, vendors, and parents, I try to be watchful for people that look out of place, or nervous, “Robinson said. “I ask questions and trust my gut instinct before letting anyone enter, and thankfully, we haven’t had any incidents so far.” 

In the case of an emergency, Robinson, like the rest of the staff, is prepared to follow emergency protocol. It consists of a school wide lock-down, with procedures that the majority of the students have been practicing since elementary school.

“In the event of an intruder making it into a building, the school would go into a full lock-down, and students would be instructed to go into the nearest classroom, and remain there until given the all clear,” Robinson said. “All of the admin is connected by walkie-talkies, to ensure there is no miscommunication between anyone.” 

Karena Gantner is another secretary, joining the school this year. She mainly focuses on tasks inside the school, but also manages the front door every once in a while, helping out with the overflow from Robinson. 

My daughter-in-law started working for Parkway as a preschool teacher at a different school, and she was really excited to work for the district so I started looking into jobs here,” Gantner said. “I do a lot of things, from answering the phone lines to checking in students, or any other projects Dr. Byrd has for me.”

As Gantner runs the front office from time to time, she also bears the responsibility of making sure everyone walking through the doors of the building has good intentions. 

Sometimes it feels like a heavy responsibility but most of the time people are who they say they are and are supposed to be here,” Ganter said. “And we already know if they are supposed to be coming or not, and most of the time they don’t even get access inside the building, they might just drop something off.”