Looking back at time in office

Ingrid Chan , Staff Writer

As seasoned veterans of handling all sorts of tasks, Diamond Bar High School office assistants Elsie Garcia and Shellie Spicer take great satisfaction from their jobs, their greatest joy being “the connection they have with students.”  But after having spent 21 years and 19 years at the school, respectively, Garcia and Spicer have decided to retire when the semester ends.

Every day, their schedules consist of diligently arriving at school at seven in the morning. Garcia can usually be found typing away in the guidance or main office while Spicer spends her time working in the finance and attendance offices.

“Just being able to communicate with the kids makes me very happy,” Garcia said.  “I enjoy the interaction, the different types of people here at DBHS, and the fact that I can get through to them.”

Garcia handles most of the school’s disciplinary actions, as she often deals with a multitude of student referrals, suspension details, schedules detentions and Saturday school.  

She was born and raised in Hawaii, finishing her college education there before moving to California. She wished to broaden her horizons, since she knew that Hawaii only encompassed a small part of the many people and cultures of the world.

“I wanted to explore, see new things, and California seemed to be a nice place to go,” Garcia said.

From the start, Garcia was a cosmetologist by trade, a person who specializes in beauty treatments.  However, she never really put it to use, since the many jobs she worked in America never required her beautician skills.

She first worked for a bank before moving on to the aerospace industry.  Within the aerospace industry, Garcia landed a job in the contract departments, handling negotiations and documents and continued to work there for a decade. Afterwards, she had several odd jobs, such as working in a dry cleaning office and starting a repair business with her husband, before finding a job at DBHS.

Although many people often harbor thoughts of traveling after retirement, Garcia herself has no big plans after leaving DBHS and only hopes to relax as much as she can.

On the other hand, Spicer grew up relatively nearby in Hacienda Heights before getting married and raising three children.  She later decided to go back to work, applying for the job of an office assistant at DBHS.

“I enjoy working with kids, talking with their parents and the many different people you get to see.  I also happened to know some people who work here, so I decided to go for it,” Spicer said.

While in the finance office, Spicer works with USB funds, handles checks and orders purchases.  When she is in the attendance office, she attends to the students and parents who drop by in addition to answering phone calls.

Spicer and her husband plan to move to Idaho after she retires so that he can start a business on the property they own there. The land is about ten acres and the two plan on living there in order to keep their business close to home.

“I’m going to miss the people and  students I work with. You just develop such close relationships with them all, it’s going to be like losing your family when the time comes.”