Michael Bratslavsky and Johnny Keib
Today, Jamesville-DeWitt High School students and staff all rely on the internet in school to do homework, assignments, and daily activities. There are two new people on the tech staff who are tasked with the crucial job of making sure it works. Network administrator David Birdwell Jr. and network administrator Henry Burhans III joined the faculty in April, and are already helping improve the technical issues we face here.
Mr. Birdwell and Mr. Burhans have both settled in nicely to the J-D community making their daily routines and duties much easier. Their typical day consists of a variety of different things. “There’s so many facets of what we do,” said Mr. Burhans. On any given day, they might have to check the network status making sure everything is secure and running. Also, both of them make sure everyone else that is connected to the district’s technology is communicating with them to make sure everything is working. They address any clients needs about technologies and help fix issues throughout the district making a better community.
The two new members of the tech staff here will help change the J-DHS community in a better way. They have started a list of issues they have already found. “Some enhancements will improve not only the quality of what the school district experiences, but hopefully the betterment of everyone that is here,” said Mr. Burhans. They will be installing equipment, cleaning spam filters, and fixing network crashes when they occur.
In their previous jobs, both dealt with technical issues. Mr. Burhans worked at several banks before he settled into a job at National Grid. He would work there for 22 years before coming to work in the J-D School District. Mr. Birdwell was in Ontario, NY, to work with computers and face technological issues at a nuclear station.
They both liked their jobs and worked at them up until about a month ago, but when they saw that there were job openings at J-DHS they couldn’t resist. Both of them agreed that there are many more benefits of working in a school environment, like “less stress and better people,” said Mr. Burhans. “When I saw the job posting I couldn’t submit my application fast enough. The reputation of the district is well known,” said Mr. Birdwell who also prefers this setting more than prior jobs.
When most people get a new job, getting used to their new setting is tough. But for Mr. Birdwell and Mr. Burhans, that has been easy. “We are doing quite well. Everyone has gone out of their way to make us feel welcome,” said Mr. Birdwell. “Everyone has been very accommodating and very nice, and it’s just a very nice change from the environments we were used to,” added Mr. Burhans.
In 1990, the internet became a reality. When the it came out, Mr. Birdwell struck up an interest in computers, and his future took off from there. Mr. Burhans was fascinated with communication, and loved how things could be networked together. Both would go on to work at a variety of different tech related jobs.
After deciding on the career path they wanted to follow, they needed to get the proper education to pursue what they loved. Mr. Birdwell attended SUNY Alfred. Mr. Burhans went to school at Onondaga Community College. Mr. Burhans has his degree in informational technology, while Mr. Birdwell has his degree in computer and electronics science.
Mr. Burhans and Mr. Birdwell have only been at J-DHS for about a month, but they are already making contributions to the community. They will be here for years to come and will benefit the school in ways unimaginable.