GCS Celebrates American Education Week 2018 - Support Staff
“We couldn’t survive without her,” that’s how Mauldin Middle School Principal Chris Kilian describes Technology Clerk Kim Wylie. Kilian hired Wylie to oversee the one-to-one Chromebook rollout at Mauldin three years ago. She has become invaluable.
Wylie handles the basics of Chromebook maintenance and troubleshooting but uses her role to teach more than just technology.
Wylie regularly shares what she calls “google nuggets” with students. To teach them why computers freeze up she asks students to multiply, write something down and count backwards all at the same time. The information overload is what she says happens to a computer's ram when you have too many tabs open. “I find that if I can take students out of that technical sense and put it into something more real world they’re going to better understand the context and they’re going to grasp the idea a lot better”.
To teach students about responsible care of their Chromebooks Wylie compares them to a puppy. “If you lost your puppy would you keep it a secret or would you tell everyone so they could help you find it?” she asks. “If your puppy had something wrong with it would you just ignore the problem or would you take it to the vet for help?” Applying these scenarios Wylie is able to ensure that her students are not only taking care of their chromebooks but also using them to their full potential while maintaining them for the years to come.
Along with overseeing all student Chromebooks Wylie has created a student lead news program called The Mane Event. Wylie is the scriptwriter but insists that students take on key roles. The news team began with around eight students but now has more than forty. It is so popular Wylie has to rotate team members. The students announce school events but also create commercials and other videos.
Wylie shares her “google nuggets” with more than just students. She offers informational sessions during and after school so parents can log in to and understand their child’s Chromebook. These sessions empower parents to assist students with online homework and projects.”The more I can help parents understand and feel confident in knowing what to do, the better I'm doing my job for the students and the better off they are going to be,” Wylie says.
Supervising students in virtual classes, maintaining over a thousand Chromebooks, training parents and leading student journalists Wylie is truly appreciated in her multiple roles at Mauldin Middle . In the words of Principal Kilian, “She does so many great things for our school, we are so proud of Mrs.Wylie and happy to have her here at Mauldin Middle.”
Katie Bentfeld, Food and Nutrition Services, Lake Forest Elementary
Katie Bentfeld has a smile that lights up a room and an embrace that is hard to escape. “She brings the sunshine,” says Lake Forest Elementary Cafeteria Manager Kim Kimball.
Katie has been working the serving line at Lake Forest for fourteen years. She began as a Riverside High School student on a work based learning program. “She has been amazing to learn everything from step one. She has learned how to take the trash out, open boxes, count and write the tickets, how to cook everything, how to serve on the line. She runs the dish machine, she goes in the cooler, she checks the delivery trucks and puts merchandise up in the store rooms,” Kimball says.
Bentfeld works at Lake Forest on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Kimball says when Katie is not on the serving line the students ask where she is. “The kids know which days of the week she is here, what time she gets here, if she is in the dish room they want to know what she is up to. They are the nosiest group, they want to know where Katie is.”
“She can give a hug like no one has ever given a hug,” Kimball says. “When we are having a bad day she will give us a hug and fix our day for us.”