What do you do?
Juli Walker

Where do you work and what is your title?
       West Elementary, where I am a school social worker.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       I work with students, teachers and parents to find answers to students’ problems and to connect families to resources in the community. I help the principal (Mr. Martinez) with planning fun activities, like Pizza with the Principal, Wii Time with the Principal and Trashcorn Recess. I run the WOW Bucks Store, where kids spend their WOW Bucks (earned by being caught doing something positive or by donating toys to the store) and sometimes facilitate morning assembly if the principal is out of the building.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
       I have been a school social worker for seven years. Prior to being hired by District 11, I was a caseworker for El Paso County. I worked at Whittier Elementary from 2006 to 2009. I’ve been at West since 2009.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       I love working with people. I enjoy the students, the teachers and the parents. West Elementary is a very fun and welcoming place.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       I would wish for organizational skills so my office would stay clean all of the time!
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       I love being a social worker – it is great to work in a field where there are so many opportunities to help others. However, the case studies or examples I learned in college do not come close to comparing with what I see on a daily basis. Students and families often have so much more going on in their lives that impact school. We have two social-work college interns at our school – I hope their experience has given them real-life examples I didn’t have!
What makes working on the Westside special?
       The people are what make the Westside great! It is so neat to have parents, grandparents and other family members talk about growing up in the same area where their kids are now. We get many visitors at West, and I like hearing the stories of their lives when they were here. Many families are multigenerational Westsiders; the network of friends and family that go way back is amazing!

“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.