The following letter is from Mr. Stuart Garay, who accepted the position of Facility Maintenance Technician upon Mr. Willis "Buzz" Housel's retirement on September 22nd.
I speak for Monsignor when I say that Stuart's passion for Cathedral shone through in the interview process; he loves this Family of families as much as every one of us.
On a more practical level, Mr. Garay's unique combination of hands-on experience in diverse areas of maintenance and construction coupled with a strong background of organizational and team-building skills are absolutely necessary as we take Cathedral to new heights. Finally, Stuart's excitement at interacting with students and staff pushed him to the top of a talented pool.
Help me welcome Mr. Garay to our Eagle Family, and enjoy his introductory letter below.
Principal - Cathedral School
Dear Cathedral Teachers, Staff & Administration,
I'd like to start this introduction by thanking Monsignor Nemec and Mr. Ekeler for offering me the position of Facility Maintenance Technician. I will be taking the reins from Buzz after his 18 years of excellent service.
I'd like to present you with my background so you know you're in good hands. Then I'd like to spell out some important commitments from me to you.
First, I was already working in the construction field when my wife, Kelley, started teaching at Cathedral. This work consisted of remodels and additions to homes. This involved carpentry, painting, staining, tile, basic electrial and plumbing. On the bigger jobs I coordinated the electrical, plumbing, floor installation and all other aspects of construction. I gained valuable experience in both the hands-on aspects, as well as project coordination.
My next step was to teacher college at UNL, but I was unable to finish due to a house fire that took up valuable time and resources. As a result I went to work as a primary Job Site Foreman for Ed Parr (whom some may know). Here I learned more nuanced supervision along with the technical aspects of irrigation and electrical controls. In other words, I worked at making sure teams of individuals were on-task and productive. (Some may also recall during this time a winter that I worked at Cathedral doing maintenance and janitorial duties.)
Later I spent time on Nebraska Wesleyan University's grounds crew working campus and athletic fields; another chance to grow my team-building leadership skills while working right next to the guys on the crew.
Most recently I was working in independent sales before jumping at the chance to come to Cathedral.
As I said in my interview, I've been considering, hoping and praying about this opportunity for years. I have a strong vision for Cathedral School and Parish. I am proud of this community, and I feel extremely fortunate to become part of the staff. I am excited to continue the school's march toward becoming a premier educational experience.
There are some practical, day-to-day things I want to communicate right up front at this time...
1.) I plan to be very present to the children so they see first-hand who cares for their campus and why we should all take pride in our Cathedral environment.
2.) I will walk the campus daily to identify immediate needs and potential issues. This daily "overview" will keep small things from becoming bigger, and also keep my finger on the pulse of campus.
3.) I will run the same processes and systems for the parish, in which records are kept, calendars are followed, and the gem of the Diocese of Lincoln is beautiful.
4.) I am excited to join the Eagle staff at morning prayer circles, staff meetings and/or retreats because I think it's important we are one community in every way.
5.) I will oversee important projects for the parish and school, working with vendors and contractors to get the quality Cathedral deserves at a price that is fair.
In closing, I wish Buzz all the best as he prepares for retirement. I again thank Monsignor Nemec and Mr. Ekeler for trusting the diocese's gem to my care. Most importantly, I look forward to working with you all - let's keep soaring!
Mr. Stuart Garay