Brittingham Brightens Your Day


Meghan Bean, Co-Editor

Sometimes a friendly face is all you need, maybe a little bit of support, a funny joke or a nice smile. That’s exactly what Decatur gets from its favorite alumnus, administrative assistant Yakia Brittingham

She previously engaged with students from the front office. Now she works behind the scenes as an assistant for principal Tom Sites.

“I know they were upset,” Brittingham said of her front office move. “They said, ‘you’re not giving to be here anymore? You’re moving up?’ But I still volunteer out front and help out when I can, so I still get to interact with the students”

Students that have gotten to know Brittingham agree that she is in it to support kids in any way she can, a position she feels her new duties give her the opportunity to fulfill.

Senior Ella Beard, a front office aide, said Brittingham “just really brightens my day, same as she did last year.”

“She was always there to listen and never complained and always helped give me solutions when I needed them,” Beard said. “There was never a time I’d go to her overwhelmed that I wouldn’t leave feeling better.”

Brittingham is a former Seahawk who came back to Decatur after graduating from Bowie State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent studies and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Before she was handling Decatur’s day-to-day workings, Brittingham was a student athlete who graduated in 2007 as a prized member of the cheerleading team.

“We went to the Poconos for one of our camps,” she said. “We got to stay in a cabin and it was a lot of fun”

Getting to watch the current cheer squad succeed now is a full circle moment for Brittingham, seeing how the team has evolved since her time here, and the talent of the current team.

“I do have a special place in my heart for cheerleading. I look at them and I’m like ‘wow, I used to do that,’” she said.

Her decision to not to coach comes from the desire to spend time with her now nine-year-old son Jeremy, who many of us may remember as the little homecoming prince from last year. They enjoy going to the park, singing in church and spending time together. Some of her friends graduated from Decatur around the same time as her.

“I love him to death. I hang out with my son and family and my friends as well,” Brittingham said.

Returning to Decatur in 2012 as a substitute teacher, she was hired into a full-time position the following year. Ascending over a decade from her job working with attendance to the roll of administrative secretary, Brittingham wears many hats in the halls of Stephen Decatur. Her job now involves answering emails and handling school files, among other duties.

Brittingham’s fun and caring personality has made her a favorite among students, many of whom would spend their free time next to her in the office or choose to be a student aid to do so.

She holds a special place in the hearts of students and staff, particularly the upperclassmen who got to know her before her shift behind-the-scenes. Regardless of her position or location in the school, she will always be a valuable member of the Seahawk staff.