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Being Bilingual Offers Many Opportunities to Help

Walking into any school, the first thing you come across is usually the person sitting in the front desk. After asking a couple of questions, you move along, and rarely do you ever remember that person or the conversation you had with them. Walking into Benefield, I did the exact opposite.

As I approached the front desk, I was able to talk to Ms. McNally. She works at the front desk at Benefield, but getting to know her more, made me realize that Ms. McNally was more than the lady that runs the front desk. Ms. McNally was born in El Salvador but was raised in Guatemala. She moved to the United States in 1970. She then became familiar with Gwinnett County and eventually became a part of Gwinnett County Public Schools in 1997. She started off in the Meadowcreek cluster and once Discovery High School was built, she decided to transfer over to the Discovery area. Not only does she work the front desk, but she also aids the parents who don’t speak English. Because of Ms. McNally, the parents are able to help and understand what their children are learning at Benefield.

Being bilingual has given Ms. McNally many opportunities, and she believes that people that speak other languages have a very useful skill. One thing Ms. McNally enjoys is when the high school students come in and mentor the kids. It allows the younger ones to view what the future is like for them. Overall, Ms. McNally believes it’s a “tremendous collaboration”. Ms. McNally loves her job and thinks it’s a good place for her. Being at Benefield has made Ms. McNally realize how diverse and cooperative Gwinnett County Schools can be.