The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Evelyn Retter
Evelyn Retter, administrative assistant III, plays an instrumental role in students’ educational lives. Photo by Sara Nevis | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

by Spencer Slavazza | Guest Writer

The office that Evelyn Retter works in has a welcoming atmosphere. There are two adjoining rooms beyond Retter’s office that appear to be just as welcoming. A comfy looking chair and eye-catching art scattered around leave a permanent and positive tone in the air. A cluttered desk full of knickknacks reveal her robust personality.

However, what gives away Retter’s intentions the most are pictures of her kids that sit on her desk. The pictures serve as a reminder of why Retter goes into work whenever school is in session at City College.

“My kids starting school made me get into education,” says Retter. “I began with yard-dutying. I just wanted to watch my kids.”

Caring and devotion are just two words from a long list that would describe Retter’s attitude toward her own children and toward City College students.

Retter’s job title at City College is an administrative assistant for Student Services, a role that is extremely important when it comes to student success. Retter has played a key role in students’ educational lives in the Los Rios Community College District for 13 years now.

“Caring for students, understanding and being willing to listen,” says Retter about the skills it requires to do her job successfully.

It is not an easy task to be in a position of aiding students, but Retter manages it. She has come a long way since her journey in education began in Nevada.

“Reno was probably less diverse at the time when I was there to attend college,” says Retter, 58, revealing her attentiveness to her surroundings.

Her words are evidence of what she cares about when it comes to those she interacts with. Beyond the content of what she has to say, it is obvious Retter is here for the right reasons by the tone of her voice when discussing student needs and concerns. She makes it very clear that she puts students first and that she will do whatever it takes to ensure she can help them become better off than when they first entered her office.

Something that Retter lets every student who comes in contact with her know before they leave is that they have an important purpose.

“Being able to help students,” says Retter, who speaks with conviction. “It’s a life-changing experience knowing that you may have helped a student succeed when they may have not.”

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Retter’s process of interacting with students is sweet and simple. Shantel Carter is a student who has come to Retter for answers.

“She will legit perk up when you enter the room,” Carter says.

This way of greeting others seems to act like a volt of energy for students.

“When I went to her, literally every question I had she paid good attention to,” Carter says.

It is clear that Retter is doing her job with a certain sense of attention and caring.

Before students leave her office, there is one thing that Retter makes sure they part with.

“Being able to come to me for any question, to have trust in me,” says Retter of what she hopes to impart to students. “Basically, I am here for the students, and I really care.”

Retter’s ability to help others and affect lives does not stop with students. She also interacts with colleagues on a daily basis.

Just down the hall from Retter, Melanie Frazier is a colleague who is filling in for a faculty member on maternity leave.

“The job was difficult starting off,” says Frazier. “Evelyn has been so helpful to me, so I am very grateful for that.”

There are more ways than one that Retter shows her positive outlook. One of those is her positive attitude toward rejection. Retter has faced many job rejections before she got to where she is now. Retter refers to her competition as wonderful people competing for a good cause.

Retter adds a cherry on top of every interaction with students with her use of humor. Her role at City College is vital and leads to more success among students. Without a doubt, Retter’s kind of caring is contagious.

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