Blog written by Erin Kirwan for Schatz Orthodontics
At Schatz Orthodontics, Registered Dental Assistants Susan Gonzales and Kristie Jackson share more than patient charts and pliers. The two brown- haired brown-eyed beauties share a bond like no other at the Stone Oak office. They’re connected by blood. And it’s thick. Though few know it, Susan and Kristie are mother and daughter, taking on teeth and creating beautiful smiles, together. They’ve been at it for years.
“Kristie pretty much grew up in an orthodontist office,” Susan said.
Kristie remembers many lunch dates and after school visits with mom at the office.
By age 12, Kristie was an official volunteer there, helping to set up trays and sterilize tools. Whatever she could do, she did do, usually choosing to be among the company of her mom and her colleagues over riding her bike or swimming at the community pool with friends.
By the time she was 16 and a student at San Antonio’s MacArthur High School, Kristie had chosen to enroll in a work study at – you can probably guess – her mom’s place of work, the orthodontics office. So of course, it would only make sense that the next logical step for Kristie would be to pursue an occupation in health in college. But that’s where Kristie took a side step. Instead of following in her mother’s footsteps, Kristie decided to go away to college at Texas A & M University where she studied political science.
“I definitely went through a phase where I was more interested in exploring other things and places,” Kristie recalls.
But even a strong passion for politics, and later, teaching, couldn’t compete with the fond memories Kristie had shared with her mom working at Schatz Orthodontics. Kristie just couldn’t keep away. After all, the team at Schatz, which included Susan, had become a work “family” in the most literal sense. And the sentiment was mutual. Just as much as Kristie liked helping out at Schatz Ortho, they enjoyed her and had come to rely on Kristie’s talents. So, not long after she graduated from college, Dr. Eric Schatz offered Kristie a job at his front desk, which he says she rocked. Kristie began to also take on more administrative work and would often shadow her mom as she worked with patients. That’s when Kristie says she decided to tip-toe back into those deeply rooted footsteps of her mother and obtain her Registered Dental Assistant certification, making her mom very happy. “I was ecstatic,” said Susan. “Of course, I wanted what would make Kristie happy but I was just so so happy to have her working with me side by side.”
And that is where the two have remained, years later. Their close-knit colleagues say it’s a work match made in heaven. “They compliment one another and just get along so well together and with all of us,” Evie Garza, a fellow RDA at Schatz Orthodontics. Susan added, rather honestly, however, that Kristie tends to be a little bossy at times, while she is more laid back. Kristie nodded in complete agreement, demonstrating just how well the mother daughter team truly get a along! In fact, Kristie shared, some people tease the two for being too close.
“My brother makes fun of us because we work together all week and then on the weekends where do we head? To one another’s homes or shopping together,” laughed Kristie.
The key, Susan said, to any successful mother-daughter work relationship, is knowing and respecting each other’s roles in the office.
“I am so thankful for my mom,” said Kristie. “Just the love she has given me and the way she has treated me.”
“Ditto,” said Susan.
Erin Kirwan is a former broadcast journalist and owner of Savvy Media PR. She shares patient stories and helpful tips and information for Schatz Orthodontics.