We’ll Miss You, Mrs. Ramirez

Lizzie Deal and Trevor Wyatt

If there’s one thing that Mrs. Mary Jane Ramirez has learned in her eight years working as a custodian on campus, it’s that everything in life has value.

“You can’t take things for granted,” Mrs. Ramirez said.  “At all. Not the people that you work with, and not your family. You don’t take anything for granted because everything is going well. You just try to do your best to help everybody.”

And help she does. Mrs. Ramirez begins her work day at 7 a.m. by turning on lights, unlocking doors, and working with the other custodians to set up the cafeteria for its morning crowd of students. A pinched nerve in her back has recently made Mrs. Ramirez’s job increasingly difficult, and after Jan. 20, she will be leaving the staff to rest her back and help take care of her granddaughters.

“This job has gotten too hard, not for me, but for my back,” Mrs. Ramirez said. “I’m going to miss seeing the kids in the morning, their faces smiling, the girls who dance here, seeing the kids run around in PE, and of course, the staff.”

In her eight years here, Mrs. Ramirez has seen the school at its best and worst, quite literally. She has worked through construction twice, administrative changes, and a number of other challenges, including a particularly memorable sprinkler fiasco.

“It hit us by surprise,” Mrs. Ramirez said. “They had just opened the office area and we were having lunch and suddenly the sprinklers busted. Water was just coming out. We had all the copy paper out, and we were doing like a train, handing it to the next one in line. There was water everywhere. We just stuck together and and we did it. We got it all cleaned up and everything. I’m never going to forget that.”

Of all of the relationships Mrs. Ramirez has come to make in her time here, it’s the students and her coworkers that she will miss the most.

“I’m so used to seeing them everyday,” Mrs. Ramirez said. “That’s what we’re here for.”

For Mrs. Ramirez, the time she spent here has been for much more than a job. She’s stayed for the students, and the people who need her the most.

“I’m blessed,” Mrs. Ramirez said. “I told my husband I feel like I have two families. This is like a second home. They say if you’re happy in your job and you’re comfortable, it’s a second home for you.”

To celebrate Mrs. Ramirez’s legacy and the time she has spent making our campus a better place, the staff threw her a party on the morning of Jan. 19.

“That was so beautiful,” Mrs. Ramirez said. “I just had to break down and cry. They gave me a really beautiful blanket that said 2017. I told them my granddaughter’s going to steal it from me and she can use it when she’s watching TV when it’s cold. I just thought I would be saying goodbye to everybody like I’ve been doing. That was a surprise for me. It was nice. I’ve never really had anything like that done before.”

With her new free time, Mrs. Ramirez is looking forward to spending more time with her two granddaughters, respectively one year and two months, and 10 years old. She is planning to help take care of her younger granddaughter, as well as go to morning programs with the 10 year old. She loves the job, but wants to spend more time with her loved ones.

“I went one time to go eat lunch with her — that was on her birthday two years ago,” Mrs. Ramirez said. “I took off and I ate lunch with her at Deep Wood and came right back, and that was because she had asked if I could please go eat with her.”

While Mrs. Ramirez will no longer be working on campus, she plans to take her granddaughters to school events such as Escapade and sporting events, so she can stay connected to the people here.
“I’m going to miss everybody,” Mrs. Ramirez said. “I had a very difficult time making the decision. I’m really going to miss this school and everyone.”