Now in her seventh year at Lothrop Magnet Elementary in Omaha, Daphne Philmon works as a health aide, takes care of attendance, helps organize breakfast and lunch, and whatever else she may be called to do during the school day. When the bell rings, she shifts to CLC duties, guiding students in healthy, safe after-school activities. We sat down with Daphne recently to learn more about her and why she loves Lothrop.
First of all, I’m not used to talking about myself. If people want to know something about me, they usually have to ask. I hope I won’t be too difficult (laughs).
During the day I’m based in the nurse’s office. I’m also the attendance secretary. I help give out breakfast bags to students before school and help with lunch duty at noontime. That’s my day. Then at 3:30, I clock out and join the CLC.
I was born and raised in Omaha. I went to Clifton Hill School and Martin Luther King, Monroe Middle School, back to Martin Luther King when it became a ninth-grade center, and, finally, Benson High.
I’ve worked at different OPS sites. I spent five years at the Media Technology Center and was the registrar at North High for a year after my daughter was born. But I wanted to be home with my daughter, so I opened child care, and I did that until she graduated. That was 2013.
By 2014 I was back in the schools, here at Lothrop.
To me, the CLC still feels like part of the school day. That’s what kept me here; instead of getting off my “day job,” getting in my car, and driving to another school, I wanted to stay here at Lothrop. I just love the children here, and the work we do.
The kids also keep me coming back. I work with the first-graders, and they are so much fun. They’re at such a great age. They’re so honest! (laughs)
I love this (points to sign that says HOPE – Have Only Positive Expectations). This is what it’s all about. This is such an important mindset in order to succeed. I need to put this sign in the health office, too.
This past summer was rewarding. I helped with the summer program for the first time. It was really something, all of the different programs we had going on. We had skate school (with Rabble Mill), we saw mini-horses, we even went to Lauritzen Gardens. I got to see some stuff that I’d never seen, too – so it was fun just on a personal level!
We know that the kids want to be here. They don’t want to be at home, sleeping in or playing games. They want to be here, and that means a lot to us.
Lothrop is a great community. It feels like a small, close-knit family. The relationships are so important; the ones I’ve built with the staff and parents and students here mean so much.
There’s never a bad day. Sure, you’re frustrated at times. But I never have a bad day.