Deis guided surge in school tech at Marysville


Is leaving to take job in Grandview
Chris Deis says he believes that when he looks back, the four years he has spent in Marysville will be the best of his career.
“It has been the best four years of my life, professionally,” Deis said.
Even so, the Chief Information Officer at Marysville School District has resigned to take a similar position in the Grandview School district.
Deis said he sees a lot of similarities between where Grandview schools are now and where Marysville was four years ago.
“Much like Marysville had challenges right in front of them, Grandview has challenges right in front of them and I think I can help them,” Deis said.
Deis said he is very proud of the work Marysville’s technology department has done over the last four years.
“Some of the things we are doing here and the way we are doing them, people are just amazed and want to figure out how to mimic them,” Deis said.
Under Deis, the district has cut costs in a variety of area, implemented a plan to make sure every student has a Chromebook-style computer and created a variety of collaborative efforts inside the school, the community and around the state.
Even so, Deis said he is most proud of the little things he was able to do for students and staff. He said he created a program that would sync log-in information for each program a staff member or student uses at school.
“It’s a little thing that masks a big difference,” he said, explaining that if he can save the almost 6,000 individuals who use the system 30 minutes over the course of a year, that is a lot of time saved.
A former teacher, Deis explained that mental capacity is a limited commodity. He said if he can help eliminate frustration, that allows users to focus on other things.
“We spend a lot of time analyzing processes to create efficiencies for our students, teachers and parents,” Deis said.
He added, “We are first and foremost about excellent customer service and teachers and students are our customers. We truly try our best to empower them and try not to create any impediments to any learning that might occur.”
He said teachers and students were always welcome to talk to him about challenges they were having or to bring suggestions, noting that if one user is having an issue, “they probably aren’t the only one.”
“It’s not me that drives this,” Deis said. “When you have phenomenal people that bring ideas to you, it makes it easier to do good work.”
He said he really enjoys coming to work. He said he believes Grandview will offer a similar environment of collaboration, but said he knows, “It’s a gamble everybody takes when they take a new job.”
Deis said that if he could clone himself, he wouldn’t be leaving. That’s the whole problem said Deis — he can’t be in two places at the same time.
Deis lives in Worthington and the drive to Marysville had begun to take a toll on his family life.
“We had talked many times about relocating,” Deis said.
The problem, he explained, is that relocation would require disrupting the lives of his wife and children who are settled into school, jobs and community.
“As opposed to disrupting multiple people in my family, I chose to disrupt myself,” Deis said.
He added that when he comes to work, he is disconnected from his family. He said he can’t go home for lunch or run home if a family member needs something. He said there isn’t much sense going home before an evening meeting he might need to attend.
“This will give me the shortest commute I’ve ever had in my career,” Deis said.
He added that his children, “are only young once.”
Deis said the customer service mindset was at Marysville before he came and he believes it will stay, even after he leaves.
“I feel confident the amazing people in the district and in this department are going to continue to find ways to make learning more accessible,” Deis said.
Tom Powers has been named the new IT director for Marysville Exempted Village Schools. The school board is expected to approve the hire at its next meeting. Powers will make $90,000 per year. Deis earned $94,000 annually. As a curriculum specialist at the Early College High School, Powers made $79,844 in the 2016-2017 school year.

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