There is rarely a quiet moment in the front office at Hillsboro High School, but a well-organized pair of secretaries, Lisa Mayfield and Carolyn Brazil, have kept things running smoothly together for more than three years. As the final days of the 2013 school year come to a close, Mayfield and Brazil, have to face the reality that their working and personal friendships are about to go through a major change.
Brazil will move to California this summer with her family to take a new position with her father in the family spa manufacturing business in Temecula.
Between dealing with termites, students smelling the candy basket, substitute teacher schedules, and a myriad of phone calls, Brazil and Mayfield shared on Friday that theirs has been a very pleasant working relationship through the years.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with Lisa,” Brazil said. “We graduated from high school the same year. Even though she was in Kansas (Marion High School) and I was in California, we both like the same things and think alike.”
As a Boston ringtone filled the office from Brazil’s cell phone, she and Mayfield started acting out similar dance moves and laughing.
“We like the same music,” Brazil said. “We both have children and go through the same kinds of things with our families. It has just been fun to work with someone with similar interests and life experiences.”
Mayfield, who has worked in the high school office since 2006, said she appreciated the smooth transition that Brazil made into the secretarial office when she came in 2007 as part of a job-share arrangement with Donna Dalke.
“She just flowed in so easily,” Mayfield said. “We have always worked well together.”
Though both Mayfield and Brazil answer the phones as needed, they have separate duties and areas of emphasis.
“I work mainly with attendance, filling out food service reports, and dealing with the walk-in traffic,” Mayfield said. “The state uploads take so much more time than they used too, and there are a lot of contracts and deadlines I have to deal with. Some days I just want to go ‘aggghh’, but really, it is all good.”
Brazil said she worked with financial tasks in the high school office, like collecting activity fees. She also was responsible for finding substitute teachers and organizing the substitute schedule.
“That takes a lot of my time, especially this time of year, with all the field trips and teacher that have to leave for track meets or other spring activities,” Brazil said. “We never seem to have enough subs available to us.”
Brazil said several times she personally had to fill in for a teacher while waiting for the official substitute to get to school.
“I’ve always enjoyed interacting with the kids,” she said. “That is one of the things I enjoy most about my job.”
Brazil has also enjoyed visiting with her own children who pop into the office from time to time to say “hi.” She has four, three of which are in the high school building.
“That was one reason I took this job,” Brazil said. “So I could be close to my kids.”
The other reason she filled a full-time position when it became open three years ago was because of her friend, Mayfield.
“When you work here, it is more than just answering phones,” Brazil said. “We have been nurses, mediators, substitute moms, detention supervisors, teachers, and above-all, someone the kids can count on to get help if they need it. Together we can always figure out what needs to be done. I will miss Lisa.”
Mayfield speculated that the secretarial position left vacant when Brazil moves will be filled by someone already in-house with the school system.
“We have such great staff here,” she said. “I am sure it will be a good transition as well, but I hope to keep in touch with Carolyn wherever she goes.”