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Lara Cerri | St. Petersburg Times | St. Petersburg, Fl


J. Carrier
Sharon Cekada
Lara Cerri
Cindy Chew
Angela Cleaver
Dan Dalstra
Andreas Fuhrmann
Angela Goodman
Ira Gostin
Chris Hall
Eri Oishi
Jenna Isaacson
Kristy May
Ted McLaren
Peter Meecham
Lindsay Miller
Adam Newman
J.O. Parker
Holly Pickett
Marc-Yves Regis
Kristin Roberts
Rosemarie Rogers
Genevieve Russell
Jan-Michael Stump
Bryan Van Der Beek
Todd Weddle
Coke Whitworth
Frank Wiese
Cliff Williams
• VIEW STORY: Bulldogs' Immaculate Angel •

The world of Louisiana High School seems to revolve around Sonja Burse. Students come to her for advice and teachers tell her secrets. She knows which boy has the latest crush, and which girl has been mean to another.

Sonja Burse is the high school's custodian.

Her job begins before the sun rises, but does not end with the last school bell at 2:30 p.m. Her afternoons are filled with teaching moments as an aide at Louisiana Elementary School and gate duty at softball games. Some of her evenings and weekend hours are spent in homes as a child advocate for the group Parents as Teachers.

Even stray cats wind their way past her backyard dogs to find their daily meal in a pie tin.

The single mother of a 15-year-old daughter, Sonja Burse handles her home life as she does her job - with competence, compassion, and grace.


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