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Superintendent Worked 90 Hour Weeks All Summer Repainting School To Save $150,000

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There are plenty of people out there who are do-it-yourselfers. If the job isn’t too complicated and doesn’t require too much specialized knowledge, doing a project yourself is usually quite a bit cheaper than paying someone else to do it.

Painting is one of those things that pretty much anyone can do. It requires a few basic skills, but once you are familiar with those basics you can really apply them to just about any situation.

Dr. David Harnish must have had a similar mentality when posed with a rather costly problem this year, and found a brilliant workaround for his school’s predicament.

A superintendent, Harnish realized that it would cost around $150,000 to have his school repainted.

It had been 17 years since its last coat, and it really needed the update.

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On top of that, the school had made $18 million worth of upgrades after the passing of a bond, and the paint job was the cherry on top that was necessary to match the rest of the improvements.

After hearing how much it would cost to have professionals come in, Harnish was concerned that the payment would get taken out of the cut needed to pay teachers and fund student supplies.

“That $150,000 would have taken away from kids, or the potential for us to take care of our staff,” he said in an interview.

So instead of jeopardizing the students and teachers at his school, he decided to roll up his sleeves and get to work himself.

He not only spent his own time painting, he hired students to help him. For a fraction of the price, he was able to get the work done and involve the students, giving them the opportunity to care for their campus and build up some school pride.

“It’s neat to be able to give some of these seniors an opportunity to do some of the summer work too,” Harnish said.

And it wasn’t just a normal work week for Harnish: According to Fox 17, in order to complete the entire project, he had to paint for 90 hours a week for the entire summer.

They finished the job by the first day of school, and for the first time in over a decade, students were welcomed back to the school year by the glisten of fresh paint.

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The comments have flown in, fast and furious. Most people are grateful for this superintendent’s attitude and willingness to take matters into his own hands.

“Thank you for setting a fine example for teachers, staff and students of what dedication and sacrifice look like!” wrote one on Facebook. “May he inspire others!”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking