Freshman administrator enforces rules, has good intentions

Haley Cooper, Sports Editor

She loves kids. High school kids.

“I’ve got kids too,” freshman administrator Stacey Steffes-Sundquist said. “They’re in high school. And I really liked high school. I realize not everybody does, but it can be a lot of fun if you get involved.

So, the phone confiscating, the constant reminders to put the headphones away, the interrupting of precious moments during public displays of affection–it’s not because she wants high school to be a miserable experience. Steffes-Sundquist is only “strict” for the betterment of the student body.

“We are trying to train you for going out into the world,” Steffes-Sundquist said. “You know how it looks when you walk into a business and the employees are standing there texting. It’s just not professional. So learning those proper social norms, I think, is important.”

Phones aren’t her only concern.

“Somebody talked to me about PDA and why they were getting picked on about holding somebody’s hands or hugging,” Steffes-Sundquist said. “You know, I’ve been in school. I’ve held hands. I got called out in the halls–by my mom, who was the teacher in my class–and was told there’s a time and a place, and it wasn’t appropriate. That’s just what this is. You’re learning how to do the right thing.”

She doesn’t, however, just define herself as the “phone enforcer.”

“I think I am strict,” Steffes-Sundquist said. “But people who know me know that I’ve only got their best interests at heart. I work really hard to make connections with students and help them understand that everyone’s dealing with something. I try to help students work with whatever is stressing them at the time and help them realize that everybody’s got something they’re dealing with. They’re not alone. We all just have to work together.”

She hopes for students to enjoy their high school years.

“High school is what you make it. You can hate it and spin your wheels and take forever getting out of here. Or, you can get involved and have fun.”