Erica Caldwell: Unsung Hero


Harper Wicker-Lenseigne (he/him), Staff Writer

You probably know Principal Filip Hristic as the leader of our school. As one of the most important people at our school, Ida B. Wells could not exist without him. However, he’s not the only person who is necessary for our school’s survival. 

Erica Caldwell’s title at our school is Business Manager, but she does more than just that. Her responsibilities range from managing funding for our classrooms, working on plans to remodel our school, dealing with parking, clubs, field trips and school events, just to name a few. 

“Typically, what happens is — at least since I’ve been here — people will say, ‘Oh, Erica will say yes — let’s just ask her,’” said Caldwell.

Over the fifteen years that Caldwell has worked here, she’s worked with four different principals and has taken on many different responsibilities. In the past, she took care of attendance, signed contracts for the school and helped students and families with alternative education programs. 

When it comes to funding, she says there are many moving parts. There are many teachers, school events, field trips, clubs, assemblies that all need funding. Money comes in from all kinds of places, ranging from fundraising events, taxpayer money, concessions from sports games, your ASB fee, and more. Keeping track of all of these sources can be very chaotic, not to mention challenging. 

Her daily tasks usually include checking in with the secretaries, checking in with the campus monitor and custodial staff, helping manage the substitute teachers, checking the hallways to make sure everything is going well, and talking to teachers about funding needs and other potential issues. She also works closely with our school’s bookkeeper, Ana Curtis. 

Not only does Caldwell manage our school, but she works with the rest of the office to keep our school as technologically updated as possible. Chromebooks and other technology are increasingly important to students in order to complete their classwork. Many classes also have increased costs due to needing high-quality equipment. 

Our school has so many electives with so many different needs, so her role with organizing funding is integral to Ida B. Wells’s ability to offer these classes. As Ida B. Wells grows, more and more Career & Technical Education classes are added, and most of them require lots of funding to succeed.

“I love working with teenagers,” she said. “When I was in high school, I always said I wanted to be a high school counselor. Even though I’m not a counselor, I’m still working really closely with them.” 

In almost every piece of our school, Caldwell is involved, making sure everything is running smoothly. Make sure to thank her next time you go on a field trip or get new computers for your class, because chances are she played a role in getting it to happen. 

“I’ve got a lot of passion for the school, and so I want us to be strong and successful,” said Caldwell, “I will try to go above and beyond to make sure that I’m serving the students and the community.”