Kearney Trades Life Boats for Lap Tops


Nick Johnson, staff writer

Brendan Kearney is no stranger to campus. For nearly 10 years, he has worked at the Soda Aquatic Center as a lifeguard and lifeguard instructor. This year, though he is still employed on campus, Kearney is now out of the sun and away from the water, putting his tech skills to work as the new computer lab assistant.

“The position opened up and I wanted a job change, and I like working for the Acalanes tech department. It’s a good group of people to work with. The students are good and the teachers are nice,” Kearney said.

Kearney has a Bachelor’s degree from the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, a prestigious art school with staff such as cartoonist genius Art Spiegelman and boasts alumni who work for huge companies such as Nike, Gap, Disney and Pixar.

Vice principal Karen Findlay praised Kearney’s contributions. “He’s a people person. He’s knowledgeable with technology, he picks up things very quickly, he’s conscientious, easy to work with and I’m happy that he’s here at Campolindo,” she said.

As the computer lab assistant, Kearney is responsible for all of the labs and the various portable equipment on the campus. This includes the A13 computer lab, the mobile iPad carts, the Chromebooks and other laptops.

According to Kearney, the advancement of technology in schools has brought about a lot of change. “It’s evolved a lot, especially in the last 5 or 6 years. It’s gone from being a peripheral tool to being one of the staple resources of education, because we’ve moved from doing almost everything on paper to almost everything on the computer,” he said.

“It means I have a lot more work to do. Instead of having 1 to 2 computer labs to keep track of, it means that I have more like 10 to 12 considering all of the mobile devices,” he said.

Kearney said that although his new job as Computer Lab assistant is different from his previous job as lifeguard, he uses many of the same skills. “It’s different in terms of what I’m working on, but what’s the same is the problem solving and the supervising. In this case, it’s supervising a classroom as opposed to people at the pool, but I think I apply a lot of the same skills to both,” he said.

Kearney’s goal is to provide a relaxed environment in the labs. “I want to create an environment where students feel like they can come and spent time without it being too stuffy,” he said.

Another challenge for Kearney is the timing of his hiring, which coincided with the departure of long-time technology supervisor Jamie Corum.

“Things have been going very well. Now that [Jamie] Corum has left, he’s the only tech person on campus. But we are hiring someone to fill Jamie’s spot, but until then Brendan has to work by himself,” said Findlay.

According to Kearney, things have been running smoothly. “It’s been great. Everyone’s been really friendly and respectful,” he said.