Notes from an Internship: Part II

When I was teaching, I could witness the immediate impact of my work. Instantaneously, I saw the results of helping students learn a reading strategy or introducing them to a writing technique. However, I knew my transition to government work would mean waiting much longer to see outcomes. Projects take time, after all. This week, though, I get to claim two small victories.

The first one I knew would probably happen. In my initial week with the Town, I started scavenging for ideas to enhance the new website. With my background in education, my first thought was to better connect residents with schools. I wanted anyone to be able to easily see all the school boundaries so they could know which schools their children would attend. This may even help prospective homebuyers choose a neighborhood based on school zoning.

Thanks to lots of help from the Marana Unified School District, I was able to create these maps on Google, and then embed them on their own Marana page. After many phone conversations double- and triple-checking the accuracy of these lines, the maps are finally live. I’m passionate about creating a school system that prepares students to achieve educational excellence, and this page is a step (albeit a small one) in the right direction. Plus, I love looking at maps.

This week’s second accomplishment was a bit of a surprise. Marana has a venerable tradition of having the summer management intern design the Town booth at the League of Arizona Cities and Towns conference. The idea is to represent Marana in a fun and engaging way for conference-goers from across the state. I don’t want to give away all my ideas yet (never know who might be reading—looking at you, Wickenburg!), but the Town has a strong relationship with the local Coca-Cola distribution facility. So I was thinking…

I had discussed the idea with our contact at Coke a few times, but I had no idea we were this close. He brought it by on Wednesday, and boy, are these things great. I know it’s a silly promotion, but everyone needs to have a little fun, right?

What a week it’s been. I’ve finished my rotations, and I have a long list of projects I’m excited to tackle. These two early victories have only whetted my appetite for more, so stay tuned for what’s ahead.

Chris Saunders is a Marvin Andrews Scholar who is interning with the Town this summer. He will write weekly entries for Marana 365 through August.