In Depth

Phillips Academy Staff Say They are Generally Satisified With Jobs and Working Environment

Of the almost 360 Phillips Academy staff members, ranging from librarians to custodians, many are pleased with their employment. Lidia Soto, who works in Commons, said, “I don’t have any problems. My boss is very personable.” Like all but four Commons staff members, Soto is employed by a food service company called Aramark, rather than Phillips Academy. Soto has been working at Andover for two years. As a full-time employee, Soto said she receives benefits. Bob Perry, a library proctor, has worked in his current position for a year and a half. Perry has filled many different positions on campus since his retirement. In general, he enjoys working at Andover. He mostly feels respected by students and faculty. “It’s hard for a library proctor who has no authority or presence [on campus] to be respected, but for the most part I feel respected.” Perry said he enjoys interacting with students. He also said, “It would be great if the school decided if the library was a social place or a library.” Darlene Peracchi is an administrative assistant in the Comptroller’s Office. She came to Andover a year and a half ago after her previous employer laid her off. She happened upon this job in an advertisement on Peracchi had fulfilled similar tasks at her previous job. She said, “Compared to my last job, the office itself is great. I’m happy with the way it’s going.” Peracchi said she feels immersed in the community. She thinks she is informed of things happening on campus. Peracchi said, “[The administration] wants you to know what’s going on.” Wilma Shores is a Commons worker, best known for her sandwich making in the upper right dining hall of Commons. Shores has been working at Commons for four academic years. She, like the majority of commons workers, was hired by Aramark and not by Phillips Academy. She cited some disadvantages for working for a large company, but said that she enjoyed being a member of the Andover community. “Yes, it is hard work, but I enjoy the students. Sometimes [the new students] don’t know what to think of me; I talk a lot.” said Shores. Shores is satisfied with her job and said that she eats every meal at school. Shores thinks that Commons is a good working environment but said, referring to the primarily Spanish speaking Commons staff, “Sometimes there is a language thing, but we manage to communicate well.” Betty Myers is a custodian who has worked at Phillips Academy for 23 years. She found out about the job because her ex-husband worked here as well. Myers feels that she is respected by students and faculty and that she is satisfied with her job and working environment. “It’s comfortable…I do what I’ve got to do,” she said. Myers works from 3:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. as a full-time employee. She began as a part-time employee and after two weeks, became a full-time custodian. Myers calls herself a floater since she fills in for absent custodians and is not assigned to one building. Myers said that a total of 18 people make up the custodial team at Phillips Academy, she said. Edward Berrios has been a custodian at Andover for about 10 months. “I’m happy so far,” he said. Berrios reported no grievances about his job. “A lot of kids respect me,” he said. Berrios previously worked at the Pike School, and he also has his own cleaning busines. He said he is happy with his various benefits, which include medical insurance. Sally Twickler is an instructional librarian who has been employed at Phillips Academy for three weeks, and is impressed by the community. “I enjoy working with students and teaching. I work in reference so I help students find things,” she said. Overall, Twickler is satisfied with her job. “Salary is based on education, vacation time and experience…If you go into management, the pay will be higher. Our salaries are definitely less than $60,000 a year.” said Twickler. Sarah Ciaburri, also an instructional librarian, has worked for a year and a half at Andover. She has a graduate degree in library informational sciences. Ciaburri is satisfied with her position and her work environment. “I enjoy helping people. I love the intellectual atmosphere here at PA and the students are so studious so it’s more fun for us,” said Ciaburri. She said that there have been issues lately with the silent policy in the library. However, she said, “For the most part, kids respect us. Kids know that we are here to help them.”