Lisa Sackreiter returns to Blake

Community Service Board and Service Learning at Blake

Q: For those who were new to the Upper School last year or this year, could you tell us a little about what you do here?

A: I started teaching English at Blake in 1996 pretty fresh out of school. I taught English and started service learning programs (there already was community service), so I introduced service learning and held a workshop that introduced service as a way of learning with Nan Peterson.  After that I taught English and helped run CSB and a lot of the other service projects.

Q:  How was the transition back to Blake after your year away?
A: Exciting, I feel like I’m coming home! I feel like I’m coming back to a place I know with people I know. I’m glad to be here.

Q:  What’s it like to see all the students and faculty?  Have you noticed any big changes?

A:  Certainly there are faces I don’t know and a few new faculty, but I know most of the faculty.

Q:  What do you think of the changes you’ve seen so far, like the science wing and curriculum changes?

A: Technology!  I’m always asking myself, “Where do I find that electronic form?”   There are just things that slow me down at the beginning and things that slowed me down in the beginning.  The science wing is absolutely beautiful. As for the curriculum changes I’m still learning, I’m not immersed in one department’s curriculum changes.  The new space is beautiful! I’m planning a lot of events and it’s still a lot of figuring out where these events can be held now that the spaces have changed.  There are different spaces for large groups so I’m trying to learn where to hold things.

Q:  What did you do on your year off?  A few highlights?

A:  I was more present for my family. I tried a lot of different volunteering.  I got connected in my community; for example, I worked in my kids’ schools and tutored at Murray Jr. High.  I got to do a lot at my church and volunteered at my friend’s apple orchard.  I took several writing classes at The Loft.  I also went Guatemala with high school students and adults, along with Germany, Czech Republic and Denmark with family where we stayed with friends in Europe.

Q:  What was the biggest adventure or lesson learned?

A:  Probably doing the traveling, those where exciting experiences.  In Guatemala, we went and stayed in a village of indigenous people along the river and that was a wonderful experience.  They were so welcoming!  It was wonderful to get to know them as friends and to be with the high school students I was with.  It was through my church and to be part of the high school students’ experience was extra special.  As for being with friends in Europe, just getting to reconnect. The people we saw in Germany had only been there for a year but the people in Denmark were from college twenty years ago.

Q:  Did being away make you miss Blake or appreciate time away more?

A:  Yes and yes!  It was really rejuvenating to be away and I enjoyed doing a whole variety of things, and my schedule still allows me to be away.  I also realized how much I appreciate the Blake community and how all the work that we do here makes it such a wonderful community to be in.  I’m so happy I’m part of the equity and service offices. I just have passion for the work the office is engaged in.

Q:  What do you hope to do this year?

A:  Help kids to find their service path.  It can be a transformative things for kids, so help them find a path that’s meaningful to them and that they can do in a sustained way because when that happens service starts to influence who they are, how they start to see the world and see beyond themselves.