Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Receptionist to greet school guests. Public relations specialist to handle parent complaints. Record keeper for student attendance. These are just a few of the many responsibilities that are handled by Greer High School Front Office Clerk Polly Smith.
“I have always wanted to be a receptionist,” said Smith, who has worked with Greenville County Schools for 11 years. “I like to greet people and help people. I have opportunities to do that every day on my job.”
Smith has been making a great first impression for visitors to Greer High. She joined Greenville County Schools after a 32-year career at Springs Industrial in Lyman. When the plant closed, she began looking for another job and landed the front office clerk position.
She says no day is exactly the same, and every day is packed with constant communication with different groups of people. “We have a rush of students in the morning dropping off early dismissal slips or requesting an ID badge. We also get a lot of parents asking to see administrators or guidance counselors,” she said. In addition, she calls parents to verify early dismissals, writes passes for late students, answers the phone, and monitors the school radio. “Some days are just unbelievably crazy!” she said.
Many students have touched Smith’s heart over the years. “There are always some students I look out for, to make sure they have what they need,” she said. “I might give them lunch money or make sure they have what they need to graduate. These are the students that really make my job rewarding.”
Her days of working at Greer High will soon come to an end. Smith plans to retire at the end of December so she can spend more time with her two-year-old granddaughter. “My daughter is a single mom and has adopted this sweet little girl. I want to be there to help both of them when they need it,” she said. She also plans to volunteer at an elementary school in Spartanburg and at a nursing home in Tryon.