By Allie Landecker ’21 and Ethan Lachman ’21
As we continue to try to gauge a better sense of the entire school community, we now investigate those who work behind the scenes. Staff jobs vary from person to person, but each and every one is essential to the school being smoothly run. Most of these members know what a student’s school day entails, though we tend to not know their everyday life. Prepare to step into the shoes and live a day in the life of those who make up a vital part of our community!
Security Guard Leonard Sterling wakes up at 3:40 a.m. every day, well before the sun rises. It takes him from 20 to 25 minutes to prepare for work, so Sterling ends up leaving his house at around 4 a.m. During Sterling’s 50-minute ride to school, he often listens to jazz music to pass the time. Sterling always makes a pit-stop at Starbucks for a coffee to start the day.
Though he does not have a nine-period class schedule like many members of the school community, Sterling said he prefers to take his lunch-break at around 12:30 p.m. Regarding the security team as a whole, Sterling refers to himself as the “early guy,” as he leaves school at around 4 p.m. each day. When he is not at school, Sterling said he enjoys golfing, and often meets with friends from his 31-year service at the Los Angeles Police Department.
“If I can go play golf, I’m the happiest guy in the world,” Sterling said.
Sterling usually begins his two-hour journey home to Rancho Cucamonga as soon as he leaves school. Sterling said he normally eats around 6 p.m., right when he gets back home. Although he is an early riser, he doesn’t go to sleep as early was one would expect.
“Believe it or not, no… I usually don’t get to bed till about nine o’clock, 10 o’clock, and I get four or five hours and I’m ready to roll,” Sterling said.
Like many other members of the community, Sterling’s job can depend on the events going on at the time. Sometimes Sterling has school-related events that he must work at during the weekend. Sometimes he works jobs outside of school. It is in these jobs that he often sees his friends from the police department.
“Special events come up in Hollywood… it’s called diamond runs where your movie stars put on diamonds. Then you kind of walk around [and] bodyguard them…So I run into all the guys I worked with,” Sterling said.
At 6 a.m. every weekday morning, Joey Choakasem wakes up to get ready for his job at the Middle School cafeteria. His drive to the school is half an hour, as he lives relatively close, and he arrives at school around 7 to 7:15 a.m.
“I need to oversee that everything falls into place. Take out the snacks and breakfast. And we have people doing that, and we have the chef cooking,” Choakasem said.
“My favorite part of the day is the morning, because you feel more energetic and it’s quieter,” Choakasem said.
Lunch time is always the busiest, and though afterschool may seem to be quieter, it can often get busy.
“I take lunch at about one. Sometimes it’s half an hour, sometimes 45 minutes,” Choakasem said.
The rest of the day, he works in the cafeteria, taking care of anything that needs to be done. Though his day normally ends at 4 p.m., it can often run later, especially if there is a special event happening at school.
“I get home at around five o’clock. Sometimes I stop at the grocery store or do errands,” Choakasem said, talking about his ride home.
Outside of school, Choakasem likes playing guitar and watching hockey. He said he has lots of free time on the weekends.
“I don’t get a good amount of sleep,” Choakasem said.
This is because of all the activities he likes doing outside of school- from going to hockey games to birthday parties, Choakasem always finds time to spend time with his friends. Though these activities aren’t routine, they happen often enough to delay Choakasem’s bedtime, often until midnight or later.
Every weekday, Middle School Bookstore Coordinator Anthony Robinson wakes up at 4:45 a.m. to get ready for his workday and to help his his toddler son, one of his two children, get ready for school. He generally leaves his house at around 6 a.m. and arrives at school at 7 a.m. to start his work day.
During his drive to school, Robinson watches videos.
“I set my phone up, and I watch YouTube channels. It’s usually something that motivates me for the morning, something that’s business savvy, something that’s speaking positive things,” Robinson said.
Robinson works all periods, but he has two 15-minute breaks and an hour-long lunch period at 1 p.m. During the day he works in the Bookstore, keeping track of inventory and entering new items into the system every Monday.
“My favorite part of the day is when I come home, and I walk through the door, and my kids say ‘Dada!’…[My son] walks to me and [my daughter] will pop up and look at me and then she’ll start to crawl over to me,” Robinson said.
Though other faculty members may have the summer off, Robinson said that the summer is the busiest time in the bookstore, because of packaging and mailing out book boxes and inputting all the new inventory the bookstore receives.
When Robinson gets home around 4:45 p.m., he likes to spend as much time as possible with his wife and two children.
“My only hobbies right now are my kids. They take up a lot of my time, and this is precious time,” Robinson said.
He often watches his kids when at home, allowing his wife to spend time by herself.
“I do go to bed late, and that’s something that I’m working on….That’s something I want to change,” Robinson said.
Though his eldest child goes to bed around 8 p.m., his daughter, at seven months, has an erratic sleep schedule. On top of that, he often watches television with his wife after his kids fall asleep, resulting in him sleeping relatively late.