Patrolling the playground at Hooper Avenue Elementary School, Thomas Becerra, at first sight, looks tough. Standing 6-feet-2-inches tall with slicked back hair, he carries a two-way radio and wears a neon vest identifying him as a campus supervisor. But make no mistake: school safety is his top priority. What’s more, those who know him say, he is nothing more really than a big teddy bear.
Thomas loves his job and is an exceptional employee. He arrives early, rarely misses a day, and is eager to help. Besides ensuring order on campus, he maintains the school’s computer lab, repairs equipment and teaches students about online math programs. In between such tasks, he delivers campus mail, and helps out in other ways.
He remains popular on campus. His relationships with staff and parents have been forged from trust. “He always puts kids first, and makes everyone feel safe” said Letty Vizcarra, a school assistant. She loves to watch a group of first-graders request his jokes.
She said, “The little ones love him.”