Q&A with Mr. Wiersema

In a continuation of an Issue 5 print story, hear about Mr. Wiersema's experiences and stance on unsung heroes.

Caimin Xi, Natalie King, and Humza Quazi

  1. In your opinion, what does it mean to be an unsung hero specifically in sports?

Sports is littered with unsung heroes. Typically most people view the superstars and the head coaches as the heroes but the real fans and the players realize that there are unsung heroes making a mark throughout the organization. The trainers, video people, the scouts, the chefs, the assistant coaches, the ticket salespeople, and everyone throughout the organization all put forth something that helps the entire sports team function. You never know where the “winning” difference might be, and that’s why anyone in the group could turn out to be the unsung hero that makes the difference between having an average season or winning the championship. Therefore, we know that every winning team has unsung heroes, just waiting to have their story told. It’s enlightening and rewarding to hear these stories. 

 

  1. Do you believe that you have a strong relationship with any of the students that you monitor in the locker room?

I enjoy the many relationships I’ve gained through the years with students I’ve met at Stevenson. It’s hard to remember all the names since I literally see hundreds of boys every day, but I usually remember the faces and the conversations. It’s such a pleasure to relate to the students and help them along the way. Nobody realizes how much they help me too. There are literally hundreds of these relationships gained throughout the years that I cherish. In fact, I just had a college student visit the other day. It was great to see him as he’s grown up so much from freshman year to now, going on six or seven years. 

 

  1. In what ways do you believe students make it clear to you that they appreciate your services as a locker room attendant?

Many students go out of their way to make me feel appreciated. It’s always such a pleasure to be thanked for the small job I do. Students just saying thank you for no good reason always makes me feel happy to help. On the other hand, once in a rare while I run into those “not so great” students. Funny story…. One time a kid went out of his way to tell me how much better he would be than me someday. He said something like, “I’m gonna be a lawyer or something instead of a lowly locker room guy”. I replied, “Good luck. Now you better get outta here and start learning”. LOL!

 

  1. Do you believe that you are given enough credit by both students and your fellow faculty members for your services as a locker room attendant?

It’s hard to put into words how lucky we are to be working at Adlai. All the heavy lifting and physical labor including washing the dirty laundry keeps me in decent shape for an old guy. We always feel supremely appreciated by both the fellow staff and students. Not only that, but the yearly thank you note and gift card goes a long way. Haha! Seriously though, it’s a wonderful place to work.

 

  1. How long have you been a locker room attendant here at Stevenson? Why do you believe that it is such an important job?

Believe it or not, I’ve been working at Stevenson for ten years now! When I started this job back in 2010, I thought I’d only be doing this for a year or two before getting a counseling job. Then I realized that I don’t need to be a counselor to make a difference.  it doesn’t matter exactly what I’m doing at a school as long as I have the chance to be a part of the community, talking to students and helping them with their problems. It’s been a pleasure getting to know so many wonderful students over the last decade, and it’s rewarding to be a part of something much bigger than myself. It’s humbling, something that more of us need in our day to day lives. Be proud of what you do, even if it’s just an assistant in the PE department. And do the job well. Then you can be fulfilled in knowing you did your best despite the circumstances. 

 

  1. Do you believe that it is the wellbeing of the students that allows you to do your job every day? How much do they mean to you?

Whenever I’m having a bad day, I find that all I need to do is talk to students and then I get out of my rut. They keep me young. It’s rewarding knowing that in playing my small part in the world of Stevenson, that I’m helping both the students and my fellow teachers by keeping the ball rolling day after day, month after month, year after year.