The Art of Saying “Thank You”

Article By Melissa Dy

A typical day in the life of a high school student starts like this: wake up, ride the bus, grab a snack from the canteen, get to class.

Many students have become so used to this daily schedule that they fail to notice everyone who helps make these routines possible. From the bus mother who makes sure you get to school on time to the cashier who already knows your order before you even say anything, the staff members all help ISM students daily with their hard work. And yet, we pass them by, tossing out a quick, impersonal “thank you” if at all, without even knowing their names.

Junior Azalea Z. says, “Whenever I go up to the cashier at the canteen, she already knows who I am and what I want. She’s committed to her job and makes sure she does it well.” Fellow junior Kelly M., who is part of the Fine Arts Council and is participating in the play, says, “Denis Lagdameo [from the Fine Arts Office] always helps us out.” Furthermore, Junior Emma S. describes Sam Ramos from the HS office as someone who “always has a really nice smile, even in the morning, which always makes me smile whenever I talk to her.”

Even though we see ISM staff everyday, we hardly know anything about them and their personal lives. Here’s a quick quiz to test how well you know ISM’s staff.


1. What sport did Eloisa Bayan from the HS Counseling Office play in high school?

a. Tennis
b. Volleyball
c. Basketball

2. What does Laurie Atilano from the HS Office like to make with her kids?

a. Sock puppets
b. Painted rocks
c. Paper lanterns and lava lamps

3. Tina Gabriel (from the HS Counseling Office) enjoys what unconventional food pairing:

a. Green eggs and ham
b. Chicken nuggets and peanut butter
c. Spaghetti with rice

4. Which of the following has actually happened to Sam Ramos (from the HS Office)?

a. She had been carnapped– with her still inside the car
b. She was accused of a crime she didn’t commit
c. She had gotten lost in a foreign country without a phone

5. Nyla Caras, who works at the HS Counseling Office, practices what?

a. Jiu jitsu
b. Mountain biking
c. Marathon running

  1. B – Small but mighty Eloisa was on her school’s varsity volleyball team.
  2. B – Laurie and her kids paint rocks and stick googly eyes on them to make paperweights.
  3. C – On another food-related note, Tina loves to bake, but never eats what she makes. If you ever want baked goods, you know where to go!
  4. A – Two AWOL military guys on the run from the law took Sam’s car while she was still inside and dropped her off in the middle of nowhere, leaving her to walk all the way home.
  5. A – Nyla practices Jiu Jitsu four times a week. Don’t mess with her!


The staff members all have countless interesting stories and experiences to share. Taking some time to talk to them is not only a great way to show our appreciation but can deepen our interactions and relationships with them as well. Try and get to know the staff a little more, so that the next time you say “thank you,” you can say it from the heart.