It’s 7:35 in the morning, and Ms. Medina is starting her day answering emails and phone calls from parents. A perfect day is when “all students show up on time and all the parents call in their attendance.” Medina spends the first part of her morning making sure everyone in the Upper School is accounted for. “[That kind of attendance] only really happens the first day of school,” she said with a laugh.
Since the start of the 2016-2017 school year, Darlyn Medina has been the Upper School Administrative Assistant. She answers calls and emails from parents, manages attendance for the Upper School, and manages Ms. Godley’s calendar.
Medina grew up in the Dominican Republic in a small countryside town called known as San Jose de las Matas or “SAJOMAS.” When she was 10 years old, her family moved to the Bronx, New York, where she stayed until she completed her freshman year of High School. Afterwards, her family moved to New Jersey, where she has lived ever since.
Medina did not know any English when she came to the United States. “I was in bilingual class from 5th grade up to 8th grade,” said Medina, adding that in High School she had classes that were a bit more advanced in their English level. “I feel like I’m still learning English. It’s just like every other thing in life where you just never know everything,” Medina said. She explained that the transition was major going from a small town to the Bronx, but “having new friends that spoke the same language as me made it a little bit easier.”
“I remember when I came [to the U.S.] I was really into [Jennifer Lopez],” said Medina after being asked about any role models when she was younger, “I used to listen to a lot her music.” Medina also explained her admiration for her two cousins: Vanessa and Jennifer. “They graduated and have a [degree], so that was kind of like a big motivation for me so that I could go to college, earn my degree, and do the same.” Vanessa works in the Health Field and Jennifer is a lawyer working for the Governor of New York City.
Graduating from Rowan University with a Bachelor of Public Relations, Medina thought she saw herself working for a large company, but developed an interest in schools and decided to stay in the academic fields. “While I was in school I was a student worker for [the Intensive English Language Program] that helps international students learn English, and working for them developed an interest for working with students,” Medina said. The program accepts non-English speaking students from all over the world, teaches them English, and then allows them to matriculate and earn their degree.
Before joining Moorestown Friends, Medina worked at another High School in Camden, New Jersey. “I love it here…It’s just like a huge family and it’s nothing like anything I have ever seen before,” Medina said.
“Ms. Medina is one of the most patient people I have met,” said Upper School Director Meredith Godley, “[w]hether accounting for over 300 people in a fire drill, trying to locate a student, or managing all the scheduling paperwork, she approaches everything calmly and with a smile on her face.” Godley added that Medina brings “such a positive tone” to the Upper School office.
If Medina was able to take classes at MFS, she would be interested in taking classes with photography, one of her hobbies, or World Religion, “which would help [her] learn…about Quakerism.” Outside of school, Medina does photography, including family photoshoots.
“When I travel internationally, [it is] always to the Dominican Republic to visit family,” Medina said. She has been to Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Illinois, among others. Puerto Rico is also on her list, and she is hoping to visit the location towards the end of this year.
When asked who in the world she would like to have dinner with, Medina responded: “I would have to say the Kardashians, I keep up with them, and maybe the Obama Family.” She also likes Netflix’s The Crown, a show about the British Royal Family. “I’m obsessed with it and I would like to learn more about it,” said Medina. She added that show inspired her to travel to the United Kingdom.
Medina says she sees herself at MFS for “as long as MFS allows me to be here. I really enjoy being here.” She shared with WordsWorth that she would like to get to know more students on a personal level, so they should feel free to stop by the Upper School Office whenever they want to chat.
Lastly, Medina left with a piece of advice for students as they head out onto college and the real world: “Take advantage of every opportunity, that will allow [you] to learn.”