For most high school students, the first time back in the buildings was this past Wednesday. But for tenth grade student Iyanna Taylor, the Richfield Public Schools buildings are familiar after spending the summer working as a temporary technician for the Richfield IT department.
Director of Technology, Cory Klinge, has high praises for Iyanna’s attitude and work ethic.
“She’s always positive and happy, and she works hard,” he said. “She must have strung together hundreds of carts.”
I asked Iyanna how many carts she had put together, and she laughed when I guessed hundreds. “It couldn’t have been that many…” she said.
What is “stringing carts,” you ask? Well, when the district moved to 1-to-1 devices and provided each student with their own Chromebook, we had to address the logistics: how do we keep Chromebooks charged for students who are too young to bring them home?
While middle and high schoolers are able to take home their Chromebooks each night, and are responsible for keeping them ready to go, elementary students leave theirs at school overnight. Enter the IT prep work that nobody wants to do: stringing (maybe) hundreds of carts with slots for each Chromebook to plug in, and neatly managing the cords that go with each one. Klinge referred to it as “cumbersome and tedious work.” But, it hasn’t been for Iyanna, who enjoys everything she does for the IT department!
“I enjoy all of it. I think doing the carts is kind of fun,” she said. “When we were at STEM putting the carts out and rolling them to the classrooms, I liked doing the exercise. Lisa and I were counting our steps—we walked three miles rolling carts.”
Lisa Baird is the IT department’s administrative assistant, and she also had high praise for Iyanna.
“She’s been a blast, and she’s worked her you-know-what off,” she said. “We really enjoyed having her.”
Iyanna’s work includes more than just stringing carts with Chromebook chargers. She has learned how to fix Chromebooks, too.
“That’s my favorite part,” she said. She told a story about the most recent “broken” Chromebook that came in… covered inside-to-out with a glitter-y glue mixture. She laughed when asked if they had been able to repair it. “No, we used it for parts. All I could think was, ‘How did you get glitter in there?’ I love seeing things that I’ve never seen before.”
So, is tech in Iyanna’s future? Well, if it can support her long-term goal of traveling the world, then absolutely! For the short-term, Iyanna is hoping to continue working for the Richfield IT department during the upcoming school year.
“I’m not too complicated. I know what I enjoy, and I’m doing what I want to do,” she said.
Klinge hopes she will stick around, too: “To be honest with you, if any of our Tier 1 technicians retire in the next few years and she’s interested, I would love to hire her.”
Iyanna found this opportunity through WIN time during her freshman year. The IT department periodically hires temporary technicians and plans to have openings this year and into next summer. If you are an RHS student and interested in an opportunity like this, or want to explore another field, we encourage you to reach out to your advisor or counselor.