The Greater Together Theme Resonates with Milton Hershey School Staff
By Sean Ryan, MHS Campus Safety Telecommunicator
The theme of the 2021-22 school year, Greater Together, resonated with me in several ways. As I reflected on my life, so many of my most fond experiences were centered around there being strength in numbers.
I began my career here at Milton Hershey School in 2019 as a campus safety telecommunicator. We are a part of a Campus Safety team that works in conjunction with the officers on campus. Every day, we work hard to keep our students, staff, and assets safe and secure. When we get a call that requires intervention related to a safety or security issue, we’ll dispatch an officer to the required location and coordinate with them until the issue is resolved. Depending on the shift, we usually work in pairs of two or three in our state-of-the-art communications center. One person simply cannot do all of this by themselves. It is better when we work together.
Growing up—much like our MHS students—I faced certain barriers to success. I was an only child, and my parents were separated before I was born. This led to me to changing schools twice, while facing other challenges. Yet, the time I spent at school was my safe place. My father gained full custody of me in 2003, which instantly changed my life. He enrolled me in a local scouting program, and a few years later, I was an Eagle scout—the highest rank and honor. I worked very hard on the merit badges and stayed focused. Many activities required us to work together.
Thereafter, I was searching for belonging and wanting to be a member of a different kind of team, I joined the football team in high school. We once faced a team that was two times bigger than ours. The previous year we were beaten by them significantly. After that experience, we worked harder, trained more, studied more, and grew stronger together. By game day, we were ready for anything, and we were better. We won, and it was quite the celebration.
My first day after high school graduation, I submitted my application to a local fire department. I began “running calls,” actively responding to emergencies. I’ll never forget the longest emergency I was involved in, lasting eight hours. Many agencies were involved including our fire department, state police, the Department of Agriculture, and more. Together we all worked as one unit and accomplished our task. The more we worked together as a fire department and the more we trained with outside agencies, the better we became.
To my fellow colleagues and the entire MHS community—we are here for you. You may not see us every day, but we’re here, behind the scenes, working together to keep you safe and to provide you with amazing opportunities. You all must work hard and apply yourself to find success. Success is earned, not given. Don’t give up on anything. If you need motivation or assistance, reach out to us. We know and understand not every day is going to be a good day and that’s okay. But together, we can make it better and be greater together.