The Tower Pulse

Hall monitors vs. security guards

Graphic by Griffin Jones '18

Graphic by Griffin Jones '18

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They are parents, coaches, friends, givers of advice, and they are hidden within the halls watching over the students of South; they are the hall monitors.

Classroom assistant and hall monitor, Andre Williams, has been working within the halls of South for seven years. He said he loves every second of his job, from seeing his son to conversing with the many students.

“When people ask me what I do here, I tell them, ‘My job is easy, I have a great job, because all I do is interact with kids,’” Williams said. “That’s pretty much it, I interact with kids all day and I love it, because what better job than that? I come to school and I talk with kids all day and then I go home, and that’s pretty much it. And I make sure they’re safe and they’re doing what they’re supposed to do.”

But, what do these hall monitors do to create the environment that makes South? Williams’ main focus for his job is to create a comfortable place for students, he said.

“I like it to be more like a family environment and I achieve that just by interacting with all the kids and bringing people together,” Williams said.

With Grosse Pointe being very community based, those respected and familiar faces create the place that Grosse Pointe is, RaeAnne Woodman ’17 said.

“We kind of pride ourselves on being historical, so having people from the community be involved in something like hall monitors and lunch monitors, it’s kind of part of what we are,”  Woodman said. “It’s close and family like, which is what South is supposed to be about.”

Along with creating a family-like environment, hall monitor, Julie Kolomjec, also works to establish a safe feeling for students, she said.

“Just by walking through the halls and making sure all the doors are secured and making sure someone strange isn’t walking through the building is what I do make it safe here,” Kolomjec said as she surveyed a couple students passing by.

Kelley Graham McNeil ’17 feels that the hall monitors  give South’s atmosphere a respectful familiarity. Being a quiet person as a freshman, Graham felt lost and overwhelmed, but with the help of those friendly faces she was able to feel more comfortable, she said.

“The hall monitors are very nice and kind, especially to me, especially when I was a freshman,” Graham said. “It was cool to talk to somebody who was a parent, a friend and a coach, someone who knows how freshmen might feel and can give advice. They’ve seen it time and time again, so they make you feel more comfortable at the place that you’re going to school at.”

These familiar and friendly faces do more than just establish a safe and comfortable environment; they also have other jobs, such as getting important messages to students, Kolomjec said.

“We work with the administrators, we help the kids if they need any guidance, we help them find their way as a new student to their classes and we help the teachers,” Kolomjec said.

Going along the lines of helping new students, it’s fairly easy to figure out who the freshmen are, Williams said. With freshmen being so easy to spot, Williams is able to simply bring them under his wing and be himself to make them feel more comfortable at South, he said. He also works at Pierce, so he gets a head start on a portion of the students arriving at South for the first time, Williams said.

“I pretty much just be myself with the kids and it’s been working for seven years, now,” Williams said. “I get freshman, smart kids, special needs kids, all kinds of kids that just open up to me, so I guess that’s just something that I have.”

With the work they do and the smiles they share, a friendly environment is the first thing that comes to Amelia Walker’s ’18 mind.

“The hall monitors are always very friendly, very enthusiastic and greeting people,” Walker said. “I think that they help make everything go smoothly throughout the halls, especially when passing out papers to students in multiple classes.”

Being assigned to certain areas of the building helps the hall monitors become aware of what students are supposed to be where, thus helping keep order within the school. With the special ed wing as one of his posts, Williams is able to become familiar with all the students and can be conscious of where each one is allowed to be during class, he said.

“I know just about all those kids, because my sons in that class, too,” Williams said. “So, yeah I interact with those kids, just like the other kids. They come in and out a lot, so we talk to them. They speak to me and I speak to them.”

The kids bring him to work, it’s the one reason he comes to South, everyday, Williams said. Just interacting with the students is what makes his days great.

“I told another adult here, because some people come and they have bad days, and they want to know why I never had a bad day,” Williams said. “They always see me smiling. I told her, ‘If I come here,’ and this might seem kind of harsh but, ‘If I can come here and stay away from as many adults as possible, I’m going to have a good day.’ And that’s just how it is. If I can come here and just deal with kids all day, I’m going to have a great day. I like being here and I love working with the kids.”

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Hall monitors vs. security guards