Jim Jenkins is back on the job

Keionna Newton, Staff

After being away for seven weeks on medical leave within the first month of the school year, security guard James [Jim] Jenkins is back on the job again.

“Coming back and getting used to the schedule again was not difficult other than I did not know who most of the sophomores were. My first few days back mostly involved working on different projects and working with the substitute security guards and getting to know them,” Jenkins said.

According to Jenkins, working in security is mostly a solitary type of vocation, which allowed for the easy adjustment to coming back after being away for several weeks.

“At first I just intended to do sub work here at PHS. I was a Piece County Sheriff for a while. I have been here at PHS for five years and I started out as a substitute for four months,” Jenkins said. “As a security guard, you are pretty much on your own. A lot of the work is self-initiated or sometimes we are called to the office or ‘call-driven’ if there is something that needs to be done.”

To the degree that working in security is an independent job, there also comes with it, a fair amount of responsibility.

“We [security guards] are the eyes and ears of the continuity of the education of the school. That means that we have to look out for students who are wandering in the hallways when they should be in class,” Jenkins said. “We also watch out for kids who are wandering around in the neighborhoods nearby PHS who may be potentially disturbing the peace of those neighborhoods.”

Though a large part of Jenkins’s job is to moderate students at PHS, his responsibility is not limited to students alone.

“Some of the roads that surround PHS do not actually look like school property, even though they are. So a lot of people drive through our roads, or walk on PHS property without realizing that they are on school property,” Jenkins said. “The school sits right on Main Street so it is really common for lost people to come in and not really know where they are going. When that happens, I help direct them to get to where they need to be.”

Jenkins states that safety is one of the main priorities of a security guard.

“I am constantly watching out for whether people on school property are supposed to be here or not and I am always looking out for any damage to school property,” Jenkins said.

Though there is a lot of responsibility and duty that comes with working in security, Jenkins states that he nonetheless enjoys his job as a whole.

“I have never really found my job as particularly difficult. I really enjoy walking around and talking to different people. I actually attended school here in 1975 and my three brothers and my mother graduated from PHS as well. I feel a pretty strong connection to the school and some of the people who live around in the area,” Jenkins said.