Building Buddies

Ayanna Wright

As a new assistant principal, Suzie Cochran does not have established relationships with staff across the building.

But that’s where building buddies helped. It was started to help better the community within the staff, and Cochran was randomly paired with science teacher Rachel Hovey.

“We don’t get a lot of time to interact, we just interact at work,” Cochran said.

Teacher Tonia Stoehr organized the group.

“It’s just an opportunity for teachers to connect with other teachers in the building. Maybe one teacher works upstairs and one teacher works downstairs, so they don’t have opportunities to see each other often,” she said.

Staff was first introduced to their building buddy during the building buddy social where they sat in the library and had conversation over cookies and drinks.

“[I] had a good conversation when we had our first mixer,” said English teacher Monica Swift, who is paired with Stoehr. “It gave us an opportunity to really sit and talk and get to know each other, and kind of, you know, touch base on people we knew and had in common from our lives.” 

Not only do they just talk with one another, but they also add a little fun to it by giving gifts. 

“She’s brought me a couple of gifts and I’ve gotten her things. One day she brought by like a six-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper for absolutely no reason, just to be nice, ” Cochran said.

“I gave a gift at Halloween, she gave me a gift at Halloween, and I’ll give her a gift at Christmas.”