Teachers and students visiting Susan Foster’s work station in the Bowers Elementary School office will spot a Giants calendar, a bulldog magnet of the school mascot and pictures of teachers’ kids. As school secretary, Foster supports the principal, teachers and students. On May 20, Foster was named “Classified Employee of the Year” after being nominated by Bowers teachers.
“I felt completely surprised and loved and appreciated when I won the award,” Foster says. “I have worked in administrative support for 25 years, and I’ve been a secretary at Bowers for 15 years. I started here at an afterschool program. Both my daughters attended Bowers.”
Foster enjoys having a job where each day offers varied duties, including dealing with sick children or children sent to the office for getting into trouble.
“I spend time listening to kids and making sure that any kind of disagreement or hardship is something they can talk about in the office,” Foster says. “I also open the school, make sure the classrooms are covered and provide support to the teachers on what they need. I plan and make reservations for field trips. I handle volunteers, purchase supplies and learn ongoing technology to better support the school. [An event I especially enjoy planning] is back-to-school night because everybody is excited and ready to see the classrooms.”
Foster credits the school district’s mandatory CPR training for helping her save a man’s life.
“My husband and I were attending a wedding in San Luis Obispo and when we returned to our hotel, an elderly man and his wife crashed their car into the parking lot and we heard the wife screaming for help,” Foster recalls. “We ran over there and saw a man slumped over the steering wheel. The wife said he has heart problems. I started doing CPR. The man survived.
“I think I just knew that this is a field that I would enjoy because I like to help others,” Foster continues. “I wear many different hats but I feel appreciated.”
When Foster’s secretary hat is off, she enjoys attending sporting events, hiking with her husband Nate and spending time with family and friends. Born and raised in Santa Clara, Foster attended St. Justin’s School, Bracher School, Cabrillo Middle School and Wilcox High School. At Mission College, she studied Child Psychology.