Having been a carrier and supervisor, Mountain Center’s new postmaster, Sylvia Smith,never learned how to run the front window since she was always in the back office with employees or out delivering mail. Smith gets the opportunity to learn how to run the front window as the new postmaster.     Photo by Jenny Kirchner

Sylvia Smith has been with the U.S. Postal Service for 32 years. Starting in October 1987, she was a part-time carrier in St. Louis, Missouri. Smith delivered mail to residents and businesses all over the city for six years before being promoted to a supervisor position. 

Sixteen years ago, she moved to California because of her two sons. One was going to a private school and the other was in the U.S. Navy. During that time, she worked throughout the San Diego district, learning her way all over the county and working in multiple offices. 

On Oct. 16, Smith started at the Mountain Center post office, learning every aspect and the duties of being a postmaster. Having been a carrier and supervisor, Smith never learned how to run the front window since she was always in the back office with employees or out delivering mail. The Mountain Center post office has helped her learn, in a pint-sized office with a little over 300 customers, as opposed to the large numbers that make their way through the postal system in larger communities. 

“I’ve always wanted to be a postmaster. This is a good office to learn everything,” Smith said. 

While Smith has only been up here for about a month, she’s already fallen in love with the community. 

“I love it up here. I’m learning names and everyone is so friendly and nice,” Smith said. 

Living in Temecula, the commute is only an hour with the scenic views and wildlife our mountain has to offer instead of the hour-and-a-half, bumper-to-bumper commute to San Diego that Smith did for many years. 

“I have this wonderful drive from Temecula to work,” Smith said. “It’s quiet and so scenic. It’s really a beautiful drive.”

When asked what her future holds, Smith told the newspaper: “While I could retire after this year, I’m not ready to go. I wouldn’t know what to do. I like to keep busy and go, go, go.”

If you haven’t made your way into the Mountain Center post office yet, head in to meet the new postmaster and make her feel welcomed.