Parapros: protection with positivity

Bailey Baker and Zoha Suteria

South’s security guards, commonly referred to as parapros, have positively impacted many students’ by ensuring everyone is safe, cheering students up, and getting to know students’ interests, sophomore Alex Lehene said. 

The outgoing personalities of South’s security guards’ allow for students to enjoy talking with them, Lehene explained. Lehene makes a point of high-fiving or fist-bumping a parapro  whenever she sees them.

“[The parapros] are really nice people,” Lehene said. “They improve our mentality [about school]. [Also], they [create] a positive atmosphere and keep everyone safe; Bubby asks me how my day is and fistbumps me [and] Frank asked me how I liked a fieldtrip one time.”

What students need most is motivation, parapro Bryson (Bubby) Lewis, said. Supporting students in and out of school and sending them positive vibes, improves their high school experiences, Lewis explained. Along with being a parapro, Lewis also coaches South’s Junior Varsity football and basketball teams. 

“This job chose me,” Lewis said. “I came to be a coach but [the school] told me that [this] job opportunity was open. I was like, ‘Sure, why not?’”.

Bubby gets to school about  7:15 a.m., and as students start coming in, he says good morning and makes sure everyone is awake and energized. He enjoys giving students a smile to brighten their mood, for his favorite part of his job is talking to students and encouraging them, he said.

Parapro Frank Stankowitz has made an effort to be a role model to students for the last eight years, he said. Stankowitz explained that making students feel confident positively influences them and makes them feel more comfortable.

“One time a girl told me, when I broke up a fight, that she felt [safe] because [the parapros] were here.” Stankowitz said.

Stankowitz has also been heavily influenced by the students, he explained. He takes pieces of their work ethic and overall personalities, and applies them to his life, Stankowitz said. 

“I learned so much from the students; how they think, what they do, and the activities they’re involved with, how they keep busy, and all the tests they take,” Stankowitz expressed.

Stankowitz strives to know the students better. Everyday, after fulfilling his morning responsibilities, Stankowitz finds himself at the library interacting with new people. 

Stankowitz loves learning from students, he explained. He also enjoys cracking light-hearted jokes with them, conveying his understanding and appreciation for them.

“I aways kid when I’m looking up a word, I look it up in Webster’s and I look it up in Urban and I ask the kids what this means,”  Stankowitz said. “I love learning, and what better place than a good school like South?”