Behind the clear doors of the main office of Central High School, visitors will find the four foundation blocks of the school. Sheila Dixon, Kristi D’Anna, Cindy Sharp and Susan Davidson. Without these four ladies, the school’s daily structure would crumble.
Sheila Dixon sits directly in front of the main door ready to answer any questions a visitor may have. Mrs. Shelia has worked at Central since 2013. Before working at Central, she was a long term substitute for Knox County Schools. For Dixon, her foundation block is her home and the people in it. She lives on the lake and has been married for 38 years with two grown children. She knows that people think her job is simply answering the phone but it’s so much more and “it’s constant.” She spends her time answering phones, speaking with people, and helping everyone find out where they need to go in the building. She knows about everything that is going on in the school to be sure that she always knows where to send people. Outside of her job, she coaches the dance team. She says her favorite thing about her job is helping the kids and being with her co-worker, Mrs. Kristi D’Anna.
Speaking of her co-worker, to the left of Mrs. Shelia, visitors will find Mrs. Kristi D’Anna working to find substitutes for all the absent teachers. It is Mrs. D’Anna’s first time doing this type of work, but she’s gotten the hang of it since she’s been at Central for five years now. She originally worked part time at the school in the library, but has now been moved to working full time at the school, half in the library and half in the office. Truthfully, she spends most of her time in the office, to the point where most don’t know she is supposed to work part time in the library. She used to be a Kindergarten and Spanish teacher. Before working at Central, she lived in London for two years and Paris for three years; obviously, she loves to travel. She also enjoys reading and running, she even used to run up to four miles a day.
If visitors round the corner to the student services office, they will find Mrs. Cindy Sharp and Mrs. Susan Davidson. Mrs. Sharp and Mrs. Davidson put in school attendance as their daily focus while working to withdraw and enroll students when the occasion arises. Mrs. Sharp handles the enrollment process while Mrs. Davidson handles the withdrawal and coordinating with the other people needed for that process. Mrs. Sharp has been at Central since 2001; she was originally a special education teacher’s assistant. Before Mrs. Sharp worked at Central, she worked at the Crown Plaza in Downtown Knoxville, before that she worked part-time for her church and before that she worked with Child and Family in many different positions including working in their teen pregnancy program. She moved from working at the Crown Plaza to working at Central because she preferred the hours so that she could spend more time with her children when they were younger. Outside of school, Mrs. Sharp enjoys spending time with her family, including her grown children and grandchildren. She also enjoys cooking and crocheting.
Mrs. Davidson has been at Central for three years coaching the volleyball team and has been working in the office for two years. This is her 22nd year in a secretary-like role. Mrs. Davidson loves volleyball and always has; she played volleyball, softball, basketball and ran track while in high school. ”It kept me out of trouble” she credits the sports. Outside of school, she works at Emerald Youth, works with the boys and girls scouts and coaches basketball and volleyball. Mrs. Davidson’s hobbies include hiking, biking, woodworking and playing volleyball. She also enjoys being active in her church and working with the church youth group. She explained to me that the thing that she likes most about her job is getting to help kids feel welcome and figure out what they want to do after school because she also helps with the college transcripts.
Without these four women at the wheel, daily activities at school would surely crash! These women do so much for Bobcat Nation. So, the next time you’re late for school, need to turn in an absent note, need to know where to go or you have a substitute, remember who makes it all happen and be sure to show them a smile of appreciation!
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