The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

The Student News Site of Shorecrest Preparatory School

The Chronicle

Beyond the Buffet

The Lives of Shorecrest SAGE Employees
LEFT: Shorecrest SAGE employee Gita Figueroa poses for MMA. In the past two years, she participated in five fights. Photo by Robert Richards. RIGHT: Gita Figueroa pridefully stands in front of the SAGE pre-made sandwich station. This is where she works and interacts with students during lunch. Photo by Gita Figueroa.

     Erin Baehman, food service director and chef with Shorecrest’s SAGE Dining Services, is one of the first and last people at school each day, dedicating that time to serving over 1200 students, faculty, and staff. 

     Baehman came to Shorecrest after working in restaurants in Ocean City, Maryland, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Estero, Florida. She arrived looking for a way to keep pursuing her passion—cooking—and work better hours. Her love for spending time in the kitchen began while baking and working in a restaurant as a child before she attended college for elementary education. Baehman’s job at Shorecrest is a culmination of her interests—cooking and education.

     When not working at Shorecrest, fellow Sage employee Gita Figueroa trains in boxing, kickboxing, and MMA. She believes being an active martial artist increases her compassion. “People might think that [martial arts] is a little too violent or too scary, … but it’s helped me with choosing battles—not always being angry, and choosing to be kind and caring, ” Figuero said. “Everything that I learn through martial arts coincides with life. Everything about me is very zen and composed, and I try to spread love and joy.”

     Figueroa has a tattoo of Wonder Woman on her arm, which serves as a daily reminder for her to maintain honesty, respect, and equality. She aims to brighten every student’s day when interacting with them at the sandwich station.

    The sandwich station is the only station at which SAGE employees directly communicate with students, which Figueroa does happily. When Figueroa got hired, she “vouched to never be the scary lunch lady.” Figueroa clearly relishes being an approachable, smiling face that betters many students’ favorite part of the day.

     When asked if there was anything she wished people recognized about her job, Figueroa said, “Getting to know us. We’re here for you guys and a lot of us are very very passionate about what we do here.” 

     SAGE is designed to serve the people—and more than just food. The music, holiday-themes, and decorations are all to enhance the SAGE experience and add a spark to the days of students who are “constantly studying, in books, on computers, listening to teachers, [while] the one good thing in the day is eating,” Figueroa added. 

    Beyond creating a fun and comfortable environment, Figueroa believes SAGE can be personable. “Everything that I do here in the kitchen and the dining room is for [the students].” She said, “I do more helping than anything else. I’m constantly caring for people here that are upset. If there are children that look down, I’m always the first one to be like, ‘hey, are you okay?’”

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Braden Stone
Braden Stone, Co-Editor-In-Chief

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