Gililland Parent Liaison Makes a Difference Through Resource Center
For every Tempe Elementary teacher, nurse, and principal that works day in and day out to make sure their schools are the best they can be, there are just as many unsung heroes in our District who are working just as hard and with the same goal in mind.
These people work in the lesser known positions, but their end result is just as important. Alfred Enriquez, “Mr. E,” the parent liaison at Gililland Middle School is a perfect example of just that.
Enriquez first worked with the SPARKS program at Gililland, but after just one year, Principal JoLyn Gibbons asked if he would like to take on the role of the school’s parent liaison.
“JoLyn asked if I was interested in the position and I think the first thing I asked her was ‘what is that?’ said Enriquez laughing. “But after learning a bit more about my role and responsibilities, I was more than excited to move forward with it.”
In Enriquez’s words, a parent liaison must “wear many hats” due to the flexible nature of the position. From working with community members and businesses on receiving donations, to helping out students in need of school or home supplies, and even setting up and hosting monthly parent workshops, a parent liaison is constantly on their toes and always willing to do whatever needs to be done.
Enriquez has set up a resource center over the past three years where he operates out of. The room has computers open for parents to use who may not have access at home, numerous racks filled with clothing for the kids, shelves of school supplies and hygiene items, and rows of backpacks and shoes for students who need them.
“The room was basically empty when I first started as the parent liaison,” said Enriquez. “It really amazes me to look at the room as a whole and think almost everything in here was donated to us and because of these donations our students are always able to have enough of whatever it is they may need.”
The resource room has become a place on campus where the kids can stop by anytime. Whether it’s just to drop in and say hi or come and ask for a jacket in the winter time, “Mr. E” will always be there.
“I try to make sure the students know they are always welcome here no matter what,” said Enriquez. “My door is always open and if they need assistance with anything, I’m more than willing to help.”
Gibbons sees Enriquez’s work with Gililland parents and recognizes how important the bridge from school to the parents can be.
“Al has done a great job with helping to get our parents involved,” said Gibbons. “Parents are comfortable talking with him about how they can better support their students.”
Enriquez has said that parent involvement is something he wants to work and expand in the near future.
“I’m really looking to expand my parent base,” he says. “I feel if we can get parents more involved with their children whether it is with their academics, mental health, or even their interests outside of school, we can set them up to be more successful.”
Thank you so much to Al for everything you do for Gililland students, parents, and community! Your hard work has not gone unnoticed.