Archive for Thursday, May 19, 2005

From teacher to technology

May 19, 2005

Jeff Andrews is a onetime schoolteacher who parlayed his interest in computers into becoming the Lansing school district's technology coordinator.

But he initially didn't want the job.

Several years ago, as a member of the Lansing Middle School faculty, Andrews had been involved in a committee that recommended the district hire a technology coordinator.

"I went to the superintendent at the time and said I wasn't interested in the job, but I wanted to be involved in picking the technology coordinator," Andrews said.

He wanted somebody who knew technology from an educational standpoint. As he put it, "somebody who knows that grade cards come out once every nine weeks."

Because his colleagues often came to him with computer questions, Andrews' name eventually made it onto the list for a candidate interview and he was hired.

The position initially was on a part-time basis, with Andrews continuing his teaching duties a couple of hours a day. He also coached after school.

A year later, the technology coordinator's post was made into a full-time job.

As technology coordinator, his duties include ordering software and hardware and making sure the 650 or so computers in the district work properly.

He's seen big changes in just the five years he's been in his current post.

"The district has really gotten involved in technology - the software and the hardware - the past few years," Andrews said.

Does he miss teaching?

"I'm still kinda teaching," he said. "I'm just teaching older people now."

Name: Jeff Andrews

Address: 409 Hithergreen Drive

Occupation: Technology coordinator, USD 469

Graduate of: Kansas State University

Family: wife, Ann; sons Aaron, 18, and Jonathan, 9

How long have you lived in Lansing and what brought you here? 16 years; I grew up in Bonner Springs and wanted to locate in this area.

What do you like most about Lansing? The community feeling, and of course the schools.

What do you do to relax: Play basketball and spend time with the family; just kind of "hang out."

What would surprise people about you? I was never a computer "geek" growing up.

What's the best advice you ever received? Take your time and don't be in a hurry.

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