Antoinette Moore’s and Lisa Thomas’ administrative tasks can take up a full day. Yet their impact at Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men is felt beyond the front office.
Moore, the head administrative assistant, said “sometimes when [students] come in [the office], they’re upset and I am able to talk to them and get them to open up, and sometimes I am able to help them feel better.”
Administrative assistant Thomas says in the year she has worked at FDA she has “formed relationships with a lot of [students] and have given them what they need, while caring and showing compassion toward them.”
Prior to beginning a career at DPSCD, she completed similar tasks in corporate America. For 30 years, Thomas worked at Transamerica where she was required to organize and plan while interacting with various people.
According to senior Army instructor, Maj. Ayannadjenaba Morales-Kaley, her son, Keith Anthony Morales “loves Ms. Thomas and Ms. Moore.”
“I think they’re nice people,” said Morales, a sixth grade student at FDA.
“If you’re a bad kid they welcome you in the office,” he continued. “They don’t say get out of the office just because you’re bad.”
Morales describes himself as “mischievous.”
Moore, who was a corrections officer before beginning her career in Detroit Public Schools Community District 10 years ago, has been at FDA for two years.
In Moore’s experience, Frederick Douglass is unique.
“The environment is mostly male dominated, with both students and staff,” she said. “The male staff members can really help the young men with their ties and anything they need to know.”
“That is what makes this building work for the students,” she added.
Moore’s sentiments are echoed by Thomas, who’s youngest son attends a school in the district.
“It is an all-boys school, with smaller classes, making it easier for relationships to be formed with the students and staff,” she said.
Said Corinne Lyons, English language arts teacher at FDA: “I’m new to the staff here and I have a lot of questions, or sometimes just need things in general. I can always ask Ms. Moore or Ms. Thomas for help. If they don’t know the answer, they know where to find it.”