By Juliette Gaggini ’20
Our community is upheld by so many amazing faculty and staff, some of whom do not get enough recognition for their hard work and dedication to our school. In hopes of bringing to light just a sliver of the hard work our maintenance staff puts in, I interviewed two major members of the group; our Director of Building and Grounds, Mark Showalter, and our Director of Housekeeping, Bonnie Hartz. Along with working with many other dedicated members of our community, they both handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes work that keeps our community going.
Mr. Showalter has been working at The Gunnery since 1984, taking after his father who was also in charge of running the facilities on campus. He lives right here in Washington, Connecticut and loves his role on campus. He used to work at the New Milford Highway Department and was excited to start his career at The Gunnery to work with his hands. Mr. Showalter said, “I had the opportunity to learn what I know now mostly from right here.”
He enjoys working with his co-workers because the small size of their crew gives it a community feel, much like we feel with our small student and faculty communities. On a day to day basis, working with around 20 people, Mr. Showalter is in charge of general problem solving on campus. During his time here he has enjoyed being able to “help The Gunnery and the people here grow.”
Mrs. Hartz is now onto 30 years working here at The Gunnery and living in Bantam, Connecticut. She was drawn to The Gunnery by her husband who worked here before her, and she now finds great pleasure in working with our community. Before working here, Ms. Hartz worked at a nursing home in Litchfield.
Mrs. Hartz is in charge of keeping things organized within the maintenance crew, and she appreciates the small team she works with and the many years they have been together at The Gunnery together. The stable small group has helped them learn to work together and form a cohesive team over the years. “Everyone has been here for a very long time which is a credit in itself that we do not have a huge turnover,” said Mrs. Hartz.
Both Mr. Showalter and Mrs. Hartz, along with their teams, are vital in the smooth running of our campus and daily lives. The positive changes they have instilled on our campus over the years have created the warm loving feeling we get to experience here at The Gunnery every day.