Dan Ryan

How did you join the board/become a pod captain?

I joined the board in July 2016 as the Facilities Pod captain. I've spent summer in high school and college working with a general contractor and my dad was always fixing things when I was growing up. The fix-it days allow us to make improvements and repairs to cottage's heavily used playgrounds and outdoor spaces as well as the classrooms where the teachers work everyday. Putting a new coat of paint or building a new feature helps keep Cottage an exciting place to grow.

Tell us briefly what your main responsibilities are as a pod captain.

The primary job is to run the fix-its that occur every month. This involves collecting concerns or ideas about what to change (doors, locks, windows, paint chips, etc) from the director, teachers, parents or children. Then determining what supplies we need to get, supplying the fix-it and then working all day on the fix-it and helping troubleshoot problems as we go through. Afterwards we document who was there, summarize the work done and prioritize the undone projects. We meet a couple of times a year to strategize any big projects.

What has been most surprising thing you've learned as a co-op member/pod captain/board member?

The most surprising thing has been how sometime the biggest projects go more easily than I would have expected and the little projects take the most work. Whenever we need to do stumps or a large project a lot of people come and the work goes fast. The hardest part is usually communicating the idea and then once the work begins we can do a lot. The hardest projects are the ones that seem trivial but I seem to find there are usually multiple things going on.

Is there anything you feel especially proud of accomplishing in your position?

Last year we painted in the central hallway and it still looks like it is in good shape. I'm also pleased with how the garden boxes look now after our October fix-it and can't wait to see what starts growing there.