The face behind the ‘voice of Lake Highlands’

Since 1914, literally millions of telephone calls have been directed to Lake Highlands High School concerning students, activities, games and grades.

And while fashions and hairstyles have changed during this period, one thing hasn’t: The first voice you hear on the line is still Rita Greenfield.

Greenfield is known affectionately as “the voice of Lake Highlands High School,” a title bestowed on her years ago. She has worked under four principals during her tenure, including the last two years under Ron Matthews.

“Rita Greenfield was the first person I wanted to meet at this high school when I became principal two years ago,” Matthews says. “For nearly 20 years, I’d heard this enthusiastic, positive voice on the phone, and I wanted to congratulate her on doing such a great job.”

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“She sets the tone for the whole school.”

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In addition to answering the phone, Greenfield is a vital cog in the football team’s season ticket sales. She was instrumental in the Wildcats’ selling all 1,500 reserved seats this year, a first for the school. She also collects tickets at every home game.

Greenfield says she stumbled into her job by accident. In 1972, her best friend applied for an opening at the Richardson Independent School District and asked Greenfield to come along for the ride.

As Greenfield’s friend filled out her application, the supervisor looked at Greenfield and asked if she was interested in applying.

“I told her, not thanks. I thought she was kidding, but she kept insisting. Finally, I said Why not?”

At the time, Greenfield hadn’t worked outside the home, although she had been busy raising daughter Carla (a 1971 LHHS graduate) and working as a volunteer for various causes.

Greenfield and husband Don are originally from Jamaica, Iowa. She grew up on a farm with three older brothers and an older sister, and she dreamed of becoming a nurse.

Greenfield and her husband were married Dec. 7, 1941, and she remembers that her mother didn’t tell her about the drama in the Pacific until after the wedding.

One brother, Charles Roger Walker, was a sailor assigned to the U.S.S. Rigel at Pearl Harbor when Japanese planes attacked. Fortunately, Walker’s ship was in dry dock, but he served on the rescue team pulling survivors out of the water.

In 1962, the Greenfields packed their bags and moved to Dallas. They have lived in Lake Highlands since 1964.

The Greenfields celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year with a five-day cruise in the Caribbean.

“I’m really proud of our 50 years together,” Greenfield says.

Although her husband has been slowed by heart problems during the past five years, Greenfield remains upbeat.

“My friends here at the school have been so supportive of me. They’re like my second family.”

When she’s not working, Greenfield says, she’s no stranger to her favorite clothing stores and enjoys bowling. Wearing a splendid pink outfit with pink earrings, she spoke of sporting a 165 average, including a high game of 235.

“I still keep very active,” Greenfield says. “My husband and I walk every day, and I still go to the lanes every now and then. We used to have poodles, but now we go visit our daughter and our two grand-dogs.”

Greenfield’s enthusiasm is contagious, and according to principal Matthews, she has exceeded his expectations.

“When I get out of bed in the morning, I truly love to come to work,” Greenfield says.

“The kids keep me young and on my toes. I keep up with everything that’s going on here. This is where I belong.”

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