The heart and soul of the Panthers

Ms. Renee, who makes things run at Stewart, wants you to know she was a perfect angel in middle school

Ms.+Renee+has+been+the+heart+and+soul+of+Stewart+for+23+years.

Lily R.

Ms. Renee has been the heart and soul of Stewart for 23 years.

Lily R., Writer

Everybody knows Ms. Renee. She is the office manager at Stewart but really, she is so much more. If you need to be reminded about taking your hat off or pulling down your hood, she is there for you. If you need to borrow a laptop, she’s got you. Sometimes if you and another student cannot get along, she can help you work it out.  

Whatever needs to get done at Stewart, Ms. Renee is pretty much in the middle of it.

Do you think it’s harder in middle school today than it was when you were a kid? 

I think it’s extremely hard to be in middle school right now. Students are being bullied. They’re fighting, and when I was in middle school, none of that. First, I wouldn’t be bullied, I’m a bully myself. I would fight back, and back then you did that on the down low. No, I think it’s extremely hard, 10 times worse than it was when I was in middle school. 

What were you like in middle school? 

Oh, I was such an angel! I never went to the principal’s office. I never got in a fight. I did get a swat. Back in my middle school days we got a swat and in this art class that we had there was something that you had to do. If you didn’t do it you had a choice of writing like 1,000 sentences or getting a swat, so I chose the swat and that hurt like the dickens. It hurt but I took it and I’m done.

What’s a swat?

(Ms. Renee smacks her own hand.)

Oh.

Yeah that’s back in the day when they used to discipline kids by giving them swats. 

How long have you been at Stewart? 

I’ve been at Stewart since 1999. … I’ve been at Stewart for 23 years. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

What did you do before you worked at Stewart? 

I worked at this place called ABC Legal Messengers. What it was is, when someone was suing someone, (say) you hit my car and the insurance pays me off but now I want to go after you because they’re not paying me enough, then I would get an attorney and we’d do paperwork and we’d sue you. So I was the person that typed the paperwork to give to the process server to sue you and in order for me to sue you, you had to know I was suing you so I had to get an attorney and the attorney would serve your paperwork saying that you’re being sued so you would get the paperwork and be like ‘oh my God!’ and be devastated. I was that person, and I was kind of bored, you know, that kind of thing, so I wrote a letter to the assistant superintendent of the Tacoma School District central and just pled my case. (I said I) wanted to do something different. I’d like to get in the school district someplace where there’s long-term somethings going on. And she got my letter and the next day she called me and interviewed me and I was hired just like lickety-split. ‘Cause you know my bubbly personality! 

Has anything paranormal or scary stuff happened to you before? 

I can’t think of anything but I always think I see things, you know? Like … that wasn’t there, you know, that kind of stuff? But that could all be in my mind. I kind of think that it’s like, uh, was that there last week?

Is there anything else that people might not know about you?

People don’t know my first name is Sandra, but I don’t go by Sandra because people call me Sandy or Sondra, so that’s why I go by Ms. Renee. I do not like Sandra. I asked my mom why she named me Sandra in the first place, and (she said) ‘You know, baby, you’re Sandra.’

No I’m not. So, I go by Ms. Renee, which is my middle name. But other than that, that’s it.