First Floor: The Seven-Floor Project

By Luchia Ceriello

The first floor of Beacon is the only floor in the eight-story building that each student visits every day. Its layout consists of the security desk, cafeteria, main office, mailboxes, administration offices, and Mr. Barr’s physics classroom. 

Beacon students begin their days with the familiar ping of their ID being swiped, or they turn to Melvin, the family worker at Beacon, who is always ready to input last names into the computer with a smile. His  favorite part of working on the first floor is being able to interact with all the students coming in and out each day. “Just getting to know them,” he says cheerfully about Beacon students, “I always enjoy working with kids.” He admits that the volume of students coming through the four computers situated at the entrance is a challenge, but most students, if not all, would agree that Melvin handles it smoothly. But, he also says that his biggest issue is not being able to know every student’s name. Those who often forget their IDs may already be acquainted with him, but to all other students – introduce yourself to Melvin one these days!

Mr. Barr confirmed that there are some challenges to being the only teacher with a classroom on the first floor. Students that take his physics class will understand the feeling of being in a “fishbowl.” “The windows are huge, and sometimes people tend to look in,” Mr. Barr says. However, he is also the only science teacher with their own office and occupies arguably the nicest and largest room at Beacon. 

Although Principal Brady agrees that his office can also feel like a fishbowl at times, “the Principal should be accessible and visible,” he said. He, like Melvin, enjoys getting to see the students everyday. But, if he could pick any other floor to be stationed on, it would be the third floor due to “Ann and Ellie, our fantastic library staff. I am an English teacher and there are a lot of English teachers on three, and when I need a break I could spend time reading a book from the amazing Beacon collection.” When asked about his favorite floor on Beacon he joked it was the “8th floor, because of the staff spa.”

For most students, the first floor is a transient place for eating food or just another stop on the way to their classes. Those who work on it all agree that – although isolating at times – there is something special about getting to see so many students so often.