Each year, Seattle Academy teachers change their courses for three days. During Spring Days, students can learn to blow glass, explore the magic of Harry Potter, or even row a boat. Seattle Academy’s capable, hardworking staff has worked tirelessly since December to put each and every participating student into a class. Here are some key players in Operations Spring Days Rich Stearns As spring days coordinator, Rich Stearns oversees 24 groups with nearly 250 kids over three days. Rich drew out the blueprints months before spring days, looking into students interests, staff interests as well as tying in community service projects. He is also responsible for troubleshooting such as when a parent calls looking for their kid, a group finishes their volunteer work early, or when people are sent to the wrong place. Rich enjoys watching his students help the community and seeing that students and staff are happy and satisfied. In addition, Rich improved the Spring Days process by creating a system for students to sign up electronically through Google Documents. Electronic registration allows the school to eliminate numerous spreadsheets from the system and save many hours of work pairing students with activities.
Jodi Rea Jodi answers phones and works at the front desk in the CUB, but her job covers much more than that. For Spring Days, she places students into their respective classes. Seniors almost always get their first choice. After them, Juniors get the best remaining choices, and down the line until Freshman are given their classes. This twist adds even more complications when people are placed in their groups. Each activity has a set maximum and minimum number of students, meaning that not everyone can get their first choice. Adding up all of these factors reveals Jodi’s job to be much more difficult than first imagined. However, due to the new electronic registration system, Jodi and the other members of the team are able to track all new placements and sudden changes simultaneously.
Loyal Hanrahan Putting a title to Loyal’s job is like naming the instruments in an orchestra. Loyal is in charge of transportation: balancing deadlines, coordinating directions, directing traffic, and solving problems. Although this sounds easy on paper, the job requires flexibility and understanding. Loyal must adjust arrival and departure times of buses to fit the master plan, find replacement drivers in case of an emergency, and be willing to make changes to solve problems.
With limited resources, a total of 6 drivers, 2 of whom are out on trips for the day, one at Tiger Mountain and one at Vashon, Loyal is left with a grand total of 4 buses to transport students to up to 50 different locations. Tomas, who assists Loyal, is the backup in case a bus breaks down.
The situation room, behind the CUB, is where most of the magic happens. The big board, a map of Seattle posted on the bulletin board, shows all of the bus routes and destination, each labeled carefully to ensure nothing is missed. On the whiteboards surrounding the rest of the room are the groups with the students listed below. Data analysis is a key part of Loyal’s job.
Molly Mitchell After talking to some of the most important organizers of Spring Days, we were worried about how stressful it must be to do all of this work. Molly Mitchell, Assistant Head of Upper School, told us that Spring Days were actually less stressful than a normal week of school for her. She explained that nothing was going wrong and most people were having a lot of fun. Her job is track attendance and make sure everyone has what they need to run their classes. After that is all finished, Molly can walk around and observe groups while they do their activities.