Mr. Schutz Returns to Greylock (Interview)

Mr. Schutz Returns to Greylock (Interview)

Vice principal Mr. Shutz returned to Mt. Greylock last week after spending time overseas in the military. The Echo sat down with Shutz to discuss his experiences and his transition back to high school life.

Echo: How would you describe your time overseas?

Mr. Shutz: I was deployed as a member of the Massachusetts Army National Guard. My unit is the 151st regional support group out of Redding, which is north of Boston, and is a regional support group that takes care of logistics for FOBs (forward operating bases), outposts, bases, things like that. They were sent to Kuwait. We got to Kuwait, Kuwait is in US army central command, which is a part of the region in the Middle East, and so we were working for US Army central command in Kuwait. Right before we got there, they realized they needed a major, which I am, in Afghanistan, so I left our training two weeks early and got to Kuwait two weeks before my unit did and instead of staying there I left and I went right to Afghanistan. I was embedded with the 101st Air Assault Division. They are the headquarters element for US Forces Afghanistan which is within US Army central command. So my job over there was US Army central command liaison to US Forces Afghanistan. The main mission in Afghanistan is called Resolute Support, which is a NATO-run mission. The man in charge is an American general, but the operation is a NATO mission so there are NATO countries in it. A piece of that Resolute Support is US Forces Afghanistan, which is the national support element and command structure. It’s kind of organizing everything and controlling everything that is going on within the country. So I was embedded with the 101st to liaise between them and army central command that was all of the Middle East. So I was basically a go-between between General Garrett, a three-star general in charge of US Army central command, and two-star general in charge of United states force Afghanistan, General Poppas.

Echo: Did your time in Afghanistan change your outlook on education here at Greylock?

Shutz: Being in Afghanistan, it made me appreciate my job, my family, and just living in the United states. You have the Taliban in Afghanistan and you have ISIS, so there are kind of two seperate groups, that aren’t always doing nice things. What ISIS would do is they would target certain institutions that they thought were contrary to their views and just to try to cause terror. So for example during the elections, or during enrollment for elections, there’s a population of Afghanistan that’s illiterate, so there were teachers or students, who were literate, were helping people who couldn’t read and didn’t know how to enroll, they were helping them figure it out so then ISIS would target those people and kill those people because they didn’t want anybody voting. In another incident, ISIS attacked a school, it was a school for girls, because they didn’t want girls getting an education, so that made me really appreciate what we have here in our school community specifically. We’re not perfect, we have our issues, but I think that the way we prioritize education, and school in general, is how it should be.

Echo: How has your transition back been?

Shutz: It’s been busy. I came back Thanksgiving and I had a bunch of personal appointments. It was nice getting my teeth cleaned after a year. My truck hasn’t been driven in a while, so I had to bring my truck to the shop. I had to do some things around the house for winter, and then the holiday was busy. And then coming back to work was exciting, looking at the new building and figuring out where things were first couple days. We don’t have names on every door, so I had to figure out where teachers are, but it was a quick study. Then just getting back up to speed with the handbook and other things. So it’s been busy, but that’s good. And I think I’m finally starting to settle in a little bit.

Echo: What’s the best part about being home?

Shutz: It’s nice sleeping in your own bed and being home with my family.