The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

Ofelia Smith

Up the P-building steps, straight into the College and Career Center and to the left is where students can find registrar Ofelia Smith and her understandably paper-laden desk. Like most school registrars, Smith acts as a recordkeeper, managing and updating official documents such as the ever-important student transcripts. Though the specifics of her role vary at different points of the year, Smith works to ensure that every student ends up with a transcript that encompasses both their high school journey and meets state and district guidelines. “There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to prepare for things that are time-consuming and that you don’t think about as far as specific tasks,” she said.

The past weeks and months have been particularly hectic for Smith, who has needed to work with teachers, counselors
and administrators in order to finalize transcripts for colleges. “It’s really busy and there’s a lot of communication in order to make sure that everything is streamlined, clean and on the transcript,” she said. “We work together to make sure that transcripts are 100% accurate, because that’s the final report for the students.”

Despite this year being her first as Gunn’s registrar, Smith is an experienced educator and previously handled registrations at the school district office. Originally coming from a political science background, Smith ended up pursuing education after a longstanding interest in the field and a passion for service. “It’s really nice to be able to see firsthand how what you’re doing is affecting everything that the students are doing,” she said.

Smith finds the most satisfaction in her work from the tangible impact she has on the Gunn community. “There’s a lot of frustrating moments, because you’re trying to do something and there are deadlines and different things that come into play,” she said. “But once you’re able to complete that task, you’re able to look back and say, ‘Okay, I made a difference.’”

Between staff, students, parents and all the groups in the greater Gunn community, Smith recognizes the unified effort toward student success and empowerment. “We’re all trying to work together and we all have the same goal, but sometimes misinterpretations or miscommunications happen,” she said. “You have to work through those, and that’s where it gets rewarding.”

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