Susie Kolonics: 'It’s the kids. It’s the community. It’s the parents.'
School Office Supervisor
Marina Vista Elementary Arts Academy
For more than 25 years, Susie Kolonics has been a valued and proud team member of the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. For 11 years, she has thoroughly enjoyed serving students, their families and her peers as school office supervisor for Marina Vista Elementary Arts Academy,
“It’s the kids. It’s the community. It’s the parents,” she says when asked why she loves Marina Vista. “We have some of the best parents. No matter what we need, we put a call out and they show up. The whole community is wonderful.”
Perhaps her favorite role in MPUSD has been librarian because of her love of reading. She began as a librarian assistant at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School of the Arts when it was a middle school and made that home for four years before moving to Highland Elementary as the library for seven years.
“I love children. Every day a class would come in and we would read a story,” Susie says. “I would help students find books that they liked to read. Even if a fourth graders wanted a first grade book, my philosophy was ‘as long as they are reading, let them read.’”
When the opportunity presented itself she took on the role of school office supervisor at Highland Elementary several years ago. “I do love being an SOS. I love making sure teachers have what they need and I like being able to handle a lot of the stuff in the office so the principal can be off in the classrooms. I am happy to help anybody that needs anything. If I can’t give you the answer I will find someone who can. It is very rewarding.”
She also worked briefly at Bayview Academy when it was part of MPUSD before finding a home at Marina Vista Elementary Arts Academy.
It isn’t so much the job, it’s the one on one with the kids that lights Susie up. “If a kid is having a bad day, if they are crying or they are angry or having an outburst, I’m like the kid whisperer. They come to my office, they deescalate, and they talk. They know they can trust me. I listen. It’s definitely about the one on one interaction.”
Susie sings the praises of her principal and colleagues. “Cristy Campanaro is what makes Marina Vista so special. She is probably one of the best principals I’ve ever worked for and I’ve had a lot. She is very dedicated. Her sole focus is on the children.” She continues, “The office staff is great. The teachers here are amazing. They work incredibly hard. They get off at 3:15 and they are here until five or six o’clock. They’re completely dedicated.”
“MPUSD is a great district to work for and I am very proud that I have been in the district as long as I have” says Susie.
Outside of work, Susie admits she is a homebody. She enjoys spending time with family, including her husband, son and his wife, and her granddaughter, who also attends Marina Vista Elementary Arts Academy.