Published Oct. 5, 2023
BY SHAYLA DUTTA
Nearly every Carmel High School student has been greeted by Tami Hardisty in her distinctive red parka with a cheerful “Good morning!” on their way into school, fist-bumped CJ Veloz while walking through the hallway during break or given a pass and a goodbye to Josh Leigh when they left campus early for an appointment.
If not, they can be spotted roaming campus sporting sunglasses or in a golf cart all throughout the day. Together, these three comprise CHS’ campus supervisors, meaning they patrol campus, supervise students and take care of many of the odds and ends needed to keep the school running smoothly.
“We’re the utility knife of the campus,” Leigh says.
A typical day for the trio will consist of lots of walking, whether it be around the campus, supervising students at break, checking the bathrooms or verifying off-campus passes when students leave. Oftentimes, they will assist the office with delivering notices to classrooms in the absence of a student office assistant, as well as other packages and messages.
“For our recent lockdown drill, we made sure everyone was in compliance with the intruder protocols,” Veloz says, “going from classroom to classroom.”
Unusual jobs like these often fall to the campus supervisors–and sometimes they’re called into action when the threat is more than pretend. When there’s a dangerous individual in the general vicinity, such as the man who robbed a bank in downtown Carmel last year, they’re on the lookout to ensure they can’t enter the campus. While there are seldom physical confrontations, they aren’t unheard of.
“This guy tried to steal this girl’s bike down from the junior [parking] lot,” Leigh says. “She was from another country, and she wasn’t locking her bike up. When I went down there, this guy stole her bike, and he threw it in the back of his truck.”
Other than those rare heart-pounding moments and occasional storms, all three of the supervisors enjoy their days full of movement and interactions with students.
“This is a great job, and pretty much all the kids here are great,” Hardisty says. “This is a perfect job for me.”
Hardisty was born in Carmel and graduated from Monterey Peninsula College, and later spent several years at home raising her four children. Once her daughter went to college, she took a part-time job in the CHS cafeteria to help pay for the education and eventually transitioned to campus supervisor. She has now worked here for the past 11 years.
Leigh is from New Jersey, but after transferring to Cal State University. Monterey Bay. and graduating with a degree in kinesthesiology, he’s been on the peninsula ever since. While working for a non-profit, he was a one-on-one aid for a student with autism at CHS for four years. When the student graduated eight years ago, the East Coast native decided to take on a position as a supervisor. Outside of work, Leigh coaches basketball at York and enjoys a variety of outdoor sports.
After attending MPC and then University of California, Santa Barbara, Veloz joined the supervising team just at the tail-end of COVID. Because of his timing, he was required to obtain an emergency substitute teacher credential, allowing him to supervise classes as necessary. The newest member of the team also supervises detention after school.
One serious issue all three supervisors note is the vaping on campus.
“We’re worried about these kids,” Leigh says. “We’re really worried about the access young kids have to this stuff.”
Veloz adds that smoke from vaping in the bathrooms was the cause for both accidental fire alarms earlier this school year.
“We’re not trying to get [students] in trouble,” Hardisty emphasizes. “We’re trying to keep [them] out of trouble. It’s our number one priority, to keep [them] safe.”