By: Roy Pensotti Jr.
Design Tech’s culture is very strong and staff members have their special place in it. Although d.tech has an uncountable amount of people to thank for its success, three staff members – Dr. Montgomery, Mr. McAndrew, and Ms. Krummel – have been through d.tech’s thick and thin and have seen d.tech’s culture evolve over the years. Consequently, they have strong opinions on the culture of the school.
Dr. Montgomery’s opinion on the overall culture of Design Tech is positive, and he says he feels it is “pretty accepting”. He says he thinks we step up for what we believe in and feel empowered, however he’s surprised that students don’t automatically buy into the d.tech culture. When he pitched this idea of a school he never promoted it as a “bully free school”, but said that the senior class took empathy to heart and made it an accepting community with no bullying. When asked to compare d.tech to the “lamest” school he’s taught at, he said d.tech felt really comfortable and there are more smiles than other schools and that there’s a greater sense of responsibility to attempt kindness and empathy.
Mr. McAndrew said that he thought the staff is willing to adjust to student culture. He claims that the staff strive to think critically and try to understand all of the students and meet their needs. McAndrew said that the student culture is “Unafraid to speak out about their beliefs, opinions or actions they disagree with.” He also feels that there can be boundary issues with the students getting friendliness and expectations mixed up.
Ms. Krummel believes that students have a high level of self reliance, self direction, and a high tolerance. And although she knows they exist, she doesn’t believe there’s a strong clique culture that most other schools possess. When asked if there’s any habits that she missed from previous years, she said that they all seem to be intact and thriving to this day. She’s not concerned with any boundary issues between teachers and students, however, she believes that the word “friends” is a bit too intimate for a student-teacher relationship.
Ms. Krummel saw the biggest change in the community during the second year of d.tech. She said that moving into a new facility changed the culture drastically. She went on to state that the new building made a bigger change than the incoming students did. Krummel believes that a good way to get students into the d.tech culture is to make them do a design lab revolving around an upperclassman orientation.
It’s clear to see that the staff of Design Tech has positive impressions on the way students created the culture here at d.tech. Hopefully the culture of d.tech will live on for many years and we’ll never become as monotonous as a mainstream public school.