Thank You, Staff!


Credit: Sarah Markey '22

On Tuesday, April 30, at 9:00 in the morning, the entirety of the Williston staff gathered in the PA room to eat sweet treats, drink coffee, and most importantly, celebrate Staff Appreciation Day.

The Williston staff is made up of many employees who keep our community running smoothly. Physical Plant, Heath and Wellness, The Business Department, The Communications Department, The Advancement Department, Campus Security, The Campus Store, The Dinning Hall, The Stu Bop, Housekeeping, The Technology Department, and, of course, the beloved Ms. Motyka and JT (his full name is Jason Tirrell but everyone calls him JT) are all members of the Williston staff.

For the past three years the Community Service Club has organized a Staff Appreciation Day to thank the Williston staff. This year the Community Service Club decorated campus with signs thanking our wonderful staff, and hosted a brunch in the PA room with a video of students saying thank you.

Tuesday morning the PA room was decorated with flowers, the tables room were covered with thank you cards from students addressed to Williston staff members, and upbeat music played in the background. At 9:00 the staff  started drifting in and helping themselves to a buffet of food (Tandem bagels, donuts, cookies, muffins, coffee, and chips and dip). The event was low key, but a great chance for the Williston staff to relax.

Katherine Garrity, Assistant Dean of Students and Faculty Advisor of the Community Service Club, stressed how important it is for the Williston community not to just say thanks, but to show them how much they are all appreciated.

“I think gratitude is, sadly, a bit of a lost art sometimes and this gives us a reminder to thank those around us,” she said. “I think it [Staff Appreciation Day] gives us a moment to pause and consider many of the things we take for granted on campus — everything from around-the-clock nurses, to perfectly groomed grounds, to the Wi-Fi that connects us all daily, to the clean buildings we all live in.”

Garrity thinks Staff Appreciation Day “may remind us that these things don’t happen automatically and there are many, many people working 24/7 to keep everything working smoothly here.”

She hopes Staff Appreciation Day reminded students to be grateful for everyone who makes life at Williston so pleasant, and wishes “we could do more” to thank the staff.

“This is just a small moment to thank a whole lot of people for a whole ton of hard work and dedication to the school,” Garrity said. “Hopefully it will instill a level of gratitude amongst our student body that lasts beyond Tuesday!”

Anne O’Connor, Head of Security, explained why the Williston Staff is so special.

“You are taking a group of people that come from all different backgrounds, and making them shoot for one goal, and that is to make this school great,” she said.

Freshman Grace Bean, from South Hadley, Massachusetts, is very thankful for the Williston Staff. Especially Paula Colby, the housekeeper in the 194 Main Street dormitory. Paula is responsible for cleaning up after the 37 girls in 194. Grace said they would be “lost without her.”

“I absolutely adore Paula; she is the best. We all appreciate her so much,” Grace explained. “Without her our dorm would be so gross.”

Grace is very grateful for all the little things Paula does to improve life in 194.

“She always says hi to me in the mornings, and anytime someone drops jewelry or a pair of earring she makes sure they get back to the owner, or makes a sign saying someone in the dorm may have lost jewelry,” Grace said. “I personally respect the dorm so much more because of all the hard work she does.”

Dylan Robinson ’22 added how grateful he is for JT. I am thankful for JT because he is always there when I need a basketball to shoot around,” Dylan said.

Praghya Athavan Raja, a freshman from Saudi Arabia, is very thankful for dinning hall employee Linda Mager, who Praghya said “makes my day.”

“Linda makes the best omelets in the world,” Praghya said. “She’s so sweet and funny.”