At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, an annual vote for a member of the non-instructional staff, that is skillful and stands out in their field, is held each year. For the 2021-2022 school year, the honor of being the non-instructional Staff Member of the Year was awarded to Debra Wanamaker.
Wanamaker serves as one of MSD’s secretaries in the Student Affairs office located in the 100s building. She has worked at MSD for the past six years as Secretary 2 for the Student Affairs department.
Even before official voting begins, the nomination process for this award has a few requirements.
“[To get nominated,] I know that there was a request for nominations and once the request for nominations went out, you had to meet certain criteria,” Wanamaker said. “This included the job performances that you do and going above and beyond the work that you are required to do, as well as how long you’ve been on staff.”
As a secretary for student services, Wanamaker’s job includes both greeting and signing in students that arrive at school tardy and signing out those who leave early. She also serves as a secretary for all of administration and takes care of important calls from parents, teachers and students throughout the day.
Throughout a normal school day, Wanamaker interacts with a large number of students. She answers their questions or provides them with the resources to answer them. Wanamaker’s favorite part of being a secretary is the line of communication that she has between herself and the students at MSD.
“Ms. Wanamaker always gives me a friendly welcome in the mornings that I am running a bit late,” sophomore Aisha Hashmi said. “You can really see that she cares about our well-being and will go through great lengths to answer any questions that I have.”
Wanamaker believes that her willingness to go above and beyond for anyone that asks is a quality that made her stand out against the other candidates. Staff members at MSD, such as English teacher Kristen Coniff, felt Wanamaker was the best choice for this award.
“I’m really excited for [Wanamaker] because she works really hard. She’s always a very pleasant and friendly face that greets [you] when you walk into student services, and she’s always helpful and willing to lend a hand to anybody that asks for it,” Coniff said.
Wanamaker proudly accepts this award as the non-instructional Staff Member of the Year and continues to be the bright and friendly face that greets and assists both staff and students in the student affairs office.