A Day in the Life of a Launch Staffer

Savannah WaszczukAccess Launch, Meet a Staffer

What’s it like to work for Launch? We joined Counselor Rebekah Bartels for a day of calls and conversations with Launch’s online students.
7:28 a.m.: As Launch Counselor Rebekah Bartels walks across the Launch office to fill her coffee cup, she engages in morning conversation with her fellow team members. “I’ve been up since 5:15 a.m.,” Rebekah says. “I’ve already went 3 miles today!” 
7:39 a.m.:
“I have two students coming in,” Rebekah says, announcing her day to her co-workers at their daily morning huddle. “They’re both former dropout students who we’re working on re-enrolling.” Rebekah works with students who have formerly dropped out of Springfield Public Schools in an effort to help them finish earning their credits online and earn their diploma, and she also works with all of the district’s online-only kids. If a partner district has a student who needs assistance, Rebekah is also the gal to call.
9:53 a.m.: “This is Rebekah,” she says, answering a phone call. “Yes. Yes. Sure, 3 p.m. will work great—I’ll see you then.” Rebekah had a student return a call and confirm an appointment, increasing her daily meeting count from two to three.
12:15 p.m.: Lunch time! Rebkah heads over to the office cafe to grab a bite. “Today I have a salad with some roasted chicken,” she says.
1:11 p.m.: “Thanks Brad, you have a great day,” Rebekah says, hanging up the phone. She just finished a conversation with Brad Brown, a counselor and Launch Liaison at Branson Public Schools. “We’re changing this student’s schedule a bit,” Rebekah says. “We want to make sure we have her in the classes she needs to be successful.”
3 p.m.: “Rinnnnng.” Rebekah’s phone rings again. “This is Rebekah,” she says. Thecia Dixon, who greets people at the front office, is on the line. “Honey, you have a student here to see you,” Thecia says. Rebekah grabs her laptop and heads to greet the student.
3:33 p.m.: Thirty minutes into the meeting, Rekah grabs a box of tissues. She’s meeting with a 19-year-old student who recently lost her father and dropped out of school. The student’s mother has a drug addiction, and the student has no support. Now this student lives with her aunt and is ready to come back to school. “It’s going to be okay, and we’re going to work with you,” Rebekah says. “We’re going to help you out. You can come into our office and work if you’d like. You just tell us what you need.”
4:07 p.m.: After walking her last student to the door, Rebekah comes back to her desk to pick up her items. She has a busy night ahead—she and her husband, Isaac, are taking their three daughters biking on Springfield’s Ozark Greenway Trails. The girls are 9-year-old Ella, 5-year-old WInter and 2-year-old Valentine. “I’ll report back tomorrow,” Rebekah says. “I’m sure I’ll have a story or two to share!”