Berge Making Bank


Photo By: Mikaela Berg

Ms. Berge is responsible for ordering and selling Shadow Ridge merchandise.

Elaina Smith, Journalist

One of the most recognized faces at Shadow Ridge is none other than Ms. Berge, the school banker. Ms. Berge has been Shadow’s banker for the last 18 years and she is there to assist students with any of their banking needs including, paying class fees and/or fines, paying for AP or dual credit classes, purchasing Shadow Ridge merchandise, or paying for athletic packets. Although Ms. Berge is available before and after school, and during school lunches, many students don’t really know all of the work she puts in behind the scenes, while students are in class.

Senior, Mikaela Berg stated, “Ms. Berge always has such a positive attitude and she is so helpful when I have had to pay for my AP tests, athletic packets, and Shadow merchandise. I feel like she is part of my family at this point.”

Students who aspire to become school bankers need to have a solid math background concentrated in algebra and geometry. Students entertaining this career option also need to know many movie quotes, from all different genres of movies, and those skills need to be used on a daily basis.

Ms. Berge states,  “I only have one of these skills … let’s just say I am not good at math, but I want my two dollars.”

Ms. Berge makes the bank so accessible and reliable. I have never had a better banking experience in my entire life. I even got a free pair of leggings when I purchased a lanyard in September.

— Senior, Arthur Anderson

Ms. Berge spends the majority of her day, “…counting money, spending money, shopping, ordering, more shopping, finding coupons for shopping.  I buy everything that comes into this school from the statue of the horse in the quad to the paper towels in the bathroom to the chromebooks you use every day.  Without me, nothing could happen at this school!  I pay all the bills for the school and keep everyone laughing, and that is my main job.  I like to send out mean emails when people take my carts without asking. I have a lot of duties that no one thinks about.”

While Ms. Berge’s responsibilities are many, she says that her favorite part about the job is “making it rain” in the office. Sadly, after making it rain, someone has to be responsible for cleaning up the mess and unfortunately, that job also falls on Ms. Berge’s shoulders.

Ms. Berge spends the entire day counting money. (Photo By: Mikaela Berg)

Ms. Berge appreciates and enjoys when people and clubs follow appropriate banking protocals saying,  “The student store does a lot of business with me and Mrs. McCombs is pretty amazing at paperwork!”

While some may think that working at the school bank is all fun and games, Ms. Berge has encountered her share of problem customers.

“One time, I had to escort someone off campus because they simply would not follow banking protocals.  It wasn’t pretty, authorities were called and there were a ton of forms to fill out. I had to film more video tutorials on how to prevent people from breaking the rules, it was a huge ordeal. I have had to do it for many teachers, why do you think Mrs. Gibo isn’t here anymore?” asked Ms. Berge.

Shadow Ridge is very fortunate that Ms. Berge is trained in self defense as well. She has seen more criminals than she would care to admit to.

“One day someone tried to rob the bank, they came in and I was pretty scared for about 30 seconds, and then I took care of business.  I am a black belt and it didn’t end well for this person. I even won an award for stopping him, it was crazy!!!” stated Ms. Berge

Along with protecting the trusted bank, Ms. Berge has had to ensure the banking work gets done even if all of her banking equipment is not working. She has had to “…count $6700 in change because my change machine had broken, that was a long day, and my hands were very dirty!”

Ms. Berge accepts payment from a colleague. (Photo By: Mikaela Berg)

Students passing the bank are sure to hear Ms. Berge’s “hype” music as she enjoys all types of music. It’s pretty apparent to determine what kind of mood Ms. Berge is in just by figuring out which genre Ms. Berge is listening to.

This past year has been especially trying for Ms. Berge since the national change shortage has hindered her ability to give change to students. Ms. Berge now admits to hiding all of the quarters that she can, claiming that she has “rolls and rolls” of them in the bank. Ms. Berge may very well be responsible for the change shortage based on that simple fact alone.

Ms. Berge continues to come to Shadow Ridge every day because she knows that she is going to laugh that day at her job.

“I love to laugh and I think it is what makes the world go around, not love, but laughter!  And you know hard laughter is worth 3 minutes of hard aerobics,” stated Ms. Berge.

Ms. Berge may seem unassuming while sitting in the school bank but, “When I was in high school I won an award, I was California State Champ for…wait for it…Storytelling.  I told this great story about the day the Rainbow ran away.  It was a children’s story about colors.  It was very fun, and surprisingly a lot of hard work.”