Campus Sad To Say Goodbye To Mr. Ephraim

Sophia Blaha, News Editor

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Ray Ephraim has been working at LASA for more than three decades, but starting February, LASA will have a new security officer keeping the halls safe. Ephraim will retire on Jan. 31st, 2020. When he retires, Ephraim hopes to take full advantage of his free time and pursue his family business, which deals with helping people with their finances.

“A lot of fishing, a lot of fishing, a lot of fishing,” Ephraim said. “My wife deals with finances, and we feel that the business that we are doing is helping people with their finances. We’ve been taught to go to school, get a good education, get a job and work for somebody else. By the time you get out of school, you have a bundle of college loans, you think like this. We want to teach people that there’s another way to do things.”

Ephraim has been considering retiring for a few years but has decided to go through with it in 2020 to focus on his business and hobbies outside of LASA. Although he has decided it is time to leave, he said he will fondly remember his favorite parts of working at LASA.

“You guys are the reason I get out of bed in the morning, otherwise I would go somewhere else,” Ephraim said. “But it’s been such a joy to work around such a diverse group of kids, students, faculty, staff and parents. Each time I think about quitting, somebody does something on the kids’ side or student side that changes my mind. It’s my calling to work with kids, always has been.”

Ephraim’s replacement has not been decided, but he said he anticipates working with LASA Principal Stacia Crescenzi to choose the next security officer. According to junior Sebastian Lopez, Ephraim is an important part of every LASA student’s high school experience.

“It’s going to take a very special person to take his place,” Lopez said. “He’s dedicated to his work. Every morning when I come to school I see him directing traffic, and he’s always out after school to tell me if my bus is here or not. And the best part is that he is always making popcorn for us.”

According to Ephraim, the LASA community and the students he interacts with have been the hallmark of his time with the school. He hopes that whoever is filling his shoes will follow in his footsteps and continue the popcorn tradition.

“PFLASA has played a big part of that because of the first popcorn machine we had,” Ephraim said. “Mr. Haines bought that machine back in ‘85. And it lasted and lasted and ended up on the back porch and Mr. Fischer finally found the part and we just started popping popcorn. PFLASA bought a new popcorn machine the same day that the old one broke.”

Ephraim said he is guided by the traditions of LASA, from the weekly popcorn making to the seasonal breaks, and will miss experiencing these traditions after he retires.

“You know what? I’m already having feelings of missing the place and I’m not even gone yet,” Ephraim said, “The thought of the first day of school, the spring breaks, the Christmas breaks, the senior pranks, the senior salutes, all those things I’ll miss each year. Cause each time of year my body clock says “It’s time for this, it’s time for that,” and that’s not my concern, but I’m curious to see how my body, my mind will react to these things in a longer part of my life.”

Sophomore Liora Susswien doesn’t know how she will adjust to Ephraim’s absence. According to Susswein, Ephraim is not only a necessary figure in the daily occurrences of LASA students, but he is also integral to the environment of the school.

“My bus is always late and he’s the one who notifies me when it is,” Susswein said. “He’s a really positive character that’s always around LASA, and he’ll be missed.”