Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Meet Chris Giard - Facility Director Extraordinaire!

As many of you may be aware, last June our Facility Director David Kelly decided to retire after 10 great years at SCS.   We were fortunate to be able to hire Chris Giard as his replacement - his twenty plus years of experience as a Facility Director for Burlington School District and Milton allowed him to dive right in as we began our renovation work this summer.  Not only has he been able to provide a wealth of knowledge to support the new project, but under his leadership several non-construction areas of the building have already undergone a huge transformation.   I was able to get him to slow down for a couple minutes today to share his thoughts about the summer:

Click here if you can't see the video Facility Director Chris Giard

As the summer construction work comes to a close - Chris' summer custodial team of Bob Miller, Bart Mattson, Dan Quesnel, Tony Bassi, Randy Mushtare, Mike Hulvey, Cheryl Thomas and Travis Giard are putting in long hours cleaning and setting up classrooms.  Here are few shots from today:
Travis refreshing the library corridor wall with some white- nacho cheese accent to come!
Looks like we caught Bart red-handed - claims he was dusting the extinguisher :-)
Cheryl and Dan work the mops and the rags, lots of dust to be grabbed
Painted and clean rooms still are a long way from being ready for students - so over the next week we will see many teachers putting in some long hours as well organizing furniture and unpacking boxes - here's who I found today in the new kindergarten wing.
Rue Kendrick and daughter Ava working to set up Rue's new kindergarten classroom
This so reminds me of the importance of teamwork - that any great challenge (such as the complete rebuild of 7 classrooms) can only happen because of the efforts of many.   It was amazing today to walk back into the building on the first day back from vacation and see the progress that everyone has made.   Makes me want to share a few last metaphor photographs from our trip - on our way back from Alaska we were treated to few days at a horse rescue ranch that is run by my one of wife's best friends - Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Sisters, Oregon (   They have 31 horses that each have incredible stories of being rescued from terrible situations, nursed back to health, who are then cared for and ridden by disadvantaged children from the area.   Carved initially out of a 1 acre cinder pit over 20 years ago, the ranch has grown to over 100 acres and as we left on Monday over 30 volunteers were arriving to work with kids that day.    It's an incredibly beautiful place, doing powerful work for children and horses alike - all through the power of a team of committed people - just like SCS (OK minus the horses although I'm open to the idea now)!

Mac grooming Zeke with the twin Sisters Mountains in the background
Sasha on Halo, ranch owners Kim and Troy Meeder, and Xander on Silas
I was also struck by one other adventure from our time in Oregon, a rafting trip on the Deschutes River in Maupin.   Our guide Chelsea, was able to lead eight full novices in navigating fourteen amazing miles of rapids.  Sure we took a few swims as we learned, but again I was reminded of how a skilled teacher can take a group through challenges they could never navigate alone.   
Riding the "elevator" on the Deschutes
It's that learning that is the whole reason for what we have been celebrating in this blog for the past month - it's not about how pretty our classrooms are, it's about the incredible growth and learning that we hope almost 800 young people will become part of when school opens again in a few weeks.  Can't wait!

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