New receptionist Sarah Cardenas brings love for people – and the Dodgers – to Shalhevet foyer


BP Photo by Ellie Orlanski

Sarah Cardenas previously worked as receptionist at Yavneh Hebrew Academy in Hancock Park.

By Gabriella Gomperts, 11th Grade

Watching over school comings and goings from the entryway of the building’s three-story lobby is Sarah Cardenas, the new receptionist. And though there are fewer people than usual, she says her favorite part of the job is interaction.

“I’m a people person, so I know that I’m on the daily dealing with people,” Ms. Cardenas said in an interview.

Originally from the San Gabriel Valley, Ms. Cardenas has lived in California her whole life and is a die-hard Dodger’s fan. She grew up in a house with 11 siblings.

“I was introduced to sports at a very young age,” wrote Ms. Cardenas in an email. “My first game I attended was a Dodger game and I was only 2 years old. I’m a sports junkie…. football, basketball, hockey to name a few.”

Her favorite baseball player is Dodger outfielder and first-baseman Cody Bellinger. Ms. Cardenas fervently believes that he and the Dodgers “will 100 percent make it to the World Series this year!” 

Pandemic restrictions mean fans can only watch baseball games from afar, and appear themselves in the stands only as life-size photographs placed permanently on the seats.  

But Shalhevet’s new receptionist approves.

“The cardboard cutout fans are weird, but it’s better than not having anything in the stands,” Cardenas said.

Ms. Cardenas previously served as receptionist at Yavneh Hebrew Academy in Hancock Park, one of Shalhevet’s feeder schools.

“So I’m already familiar with the atmosphere, and I love it,” she said.  “Through that experience, I learned a lot about this interesting religion and enjoyed getting to know the Jewish family.” 

At Shalhevet, she hopes she can be a welcoming face for all.

“I just want the students to feel comfortable asking me for anything,” she said. “That’s basically my role here, which is that I will be dealing with kids on the daily, so I would want them to feel comfortable enough to come and approach me and ask me anything.

“I’m excited for things to go back to normal and being able to see kids coming in and out of the school,” she added.


Meanwhile, last year’s receptionist, Ms. Rachelle Carmony, left Los Angeles and moved to Maine to be near family, she said. She also plans to become more involved in her religion, Catholicism. 

“There is a deep Jewish root to Catholic prayer and tradition,” Ms. Carmony wrote in an email. “The spirituality at Shalhevet really helped me in my study of Sacred Scripture.”

Ms. Carmony also said she was grateful that she had the opportunity to “share such a wonderfully inspirational academic year” and added that she “can’t imagine a better place to work than Shalhevet.”

“It has been incredibly inspiring for me to witness your virtuous behavior, pious prayer, and scholarship,” Ms. Carmony wrote. “If more schools were like Shalhevet, the world would be a better place.”