The Last Week at School

This is my last week working at Winneconne Community School District. It also happens to be the first week that teachers report to the district. Historically this my busiest week of the year. For the last few weeks the IT team has been scrambling to get all the new desktops in place and hooked up. This process is always slowed down due to the cleaning of the buildings, and other things out of our control. This year is a little different.

What normally happens is when teachers return, I am inundated with requests for forgotten passwords, computers that are not working, and requests to help with new software or websites the teachers want to incorporate in their classroom. This year, instead of putting literally dozens of miles on my shoes, I am able to sit back and wait for problems that my replacement isn’t able to fix. Since most of the problems are relatively minor, I haven’t had a whole lot to do.

I am really going to miss my school district. Over 16 years, we have gone through a lot of changes. It started with putting a wireless network in place. We then spent about a year with heavy training of the teaching staff on how to use mobile devices to teach. We then implemented a Bring Your Own Device policy (BYOD). It was simply amazing how well the community supported us. Almost 90% of our Middle School and High School students came to school with their own computers, and they got to work. After a few years we moved from BYOD to a 1:1 system. This mean a lot more headaches on my part, as our computer fleet went from approximately 400 machines to over 1500 in the matter of a week. 1500 computers is an awful lot for two IT people. Especially when the majority of those devices are in the hands of students. :).

It has been very gratifying helping the teachers in the district change their instruction practices. The staff at WCSD have been fantastic. Almost every teacher embraced these changes, and I believe these changes are some of the things that have contributed to WCSD consistently being ranked in the top 5 school districts in the State. We may be small, but we offer one heck of an education. There are not enough words to describe how thankful I am to the educators and our school board. These two groups have allowed me to grow from simply the guy that keeps the computers running to an educator. I may not have a license, but I know I have helped the students that have gone through our hallways. There is still a lot of growth that needs to happen, but I leave the district knowing that I have helped to put it in a great position.

I am thankful that this week has been slow, because I just got the results of my home inspection back. Most of the issues are minor, so I simply need to get a repair person out to take a look at something, and make sure I keep the bill to show that it has been fixed. I have had some sleepless nights, though, because, some of the requests in the home inspection are simply outrageous. For example: My wife and I replaced all the carpeting in the house before putting it on the market, but the prospective owners apparently do not like the color, because they want me to rip out the carpeting in two rooms, and also rip out a hard wood floor. My realtor has been great helping me through this process. I am normally a fairly positive person, but I have 1/2 way convinced myself that the buyers are looking for a way out of the contract. This is especially troubling, as I start my moving process in 4 days. I will leave Wisconsin for a few days in Southern Indiana, saying goodbye to old friends, before my son takes me to Chicago to get on my flight out of the country.

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