A Look at Panther Creek’s Student Employees

As Thanksgiving approaches fast, stores, businesses, and shops throughout the area are getting busier and busier each day. Employees are working hard to keep up with the hustle and bustle during each of their shifts. 

Among these hardworking employees, you’ll find many of Panther Creek High School’s students.

Seniors Emma Potter, Bailey Grennan, Alex Donaldson, and Juliet Triandiflou all currently have jobs. 

Emma is a dance teacher at Studio One Dance Center, while Bailey has been supervising fall activities at Phillips Farms over the last few months. Alex is a cashier at Target, and Juliet is a cashier at Thrift 2 Gift. All four students share their experiences while working, as well as job-specific details about being at work amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 

A collage of where the 4 students PCNN interviewed currently work. (Bria Wurst)

Emma has been teaching dance for the last three years. When asked about the best part of being a dance teacher, Emma says that she enjoys getting to work with kids and having the chance to watch them work on new skills.

The dancers that Emma Potter teaches during a class. (Emma Potter)

Bailey elaborates on the positive work environment she had at Phillips. “All of the employees are nice, and the customers are super friendly.” Although she enjoyed working, she did find herself wishing sometimes that she could be scheduled to work at different times. Since Phillips Farms is mainly open on weekends, Bailey says that she often got scheduled to work long shifts. 

Like Emma and Bailey, Alex enjoys interacting with the customers that come in while he’s working as well. Juliet says that one of her favorite parts of her job is training those who come in to volunteer at Thrift 2 Gift. 

During the pandemic, seniors Emma, Bailey, Alex, and Juliet have all continued to work. In fact, out of a poll of twenty students at Panther Creek, 70% of them reported that the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t prevented them from working. However, it has impacted their jobs in various ways. 

Emma said that in the beginning of the pandemic, “Everything went virtual, so I had to teach dance classes over Zoom.” Almost 8 months later, Emma now teaches in the building, but is required to take precautions during every dance class. All dancers and teachers wear masks, have their temperatures taken, use hand sanitizer, and practice social distancing.

Phillips Farms is taking similar precautions, though the outside environment differs from that of a dance studio. Bailey mentioned that “In order to help prevent the spread of COVID, we are enforcing masks, spraying down all of our Fun Park activities, and handing out hand sanitizer to our guests.” 

Disposable masks that student employees are required to wear while working. (Bria Wurst)

When asked about COVID precautions at Target, Alex says, “I now have to clean carts and wear a mask. We sanitize everything and have a glass pane in between all customers and team members.”

At Thrift 2 Gift, glass panes and masks have been implemented as well. Juliet said that they are now only accepting certain donations to keep everybody safe from the virus. She also said that “With corona, we have modified hours too.”

Out of another poll of twenty of Panther Creek’s students, 10 of them said that their hours were modified or cut as well. 

Although the virus has caused some aspects of student jobs to change, all 4 of the seniors that were interviewed said that they feel safe while working, and are thankful for the safety measures that have been taken. 

Whether it’s at a dance center, a local attraction, a grocery store, or a thrift store, we are grateful for all of the Panther Creek students who are continuing to work throughout the year!