Harris School Solutions relies on its exceptional individuals who come together to work as a team to get the job done. It is in the spirit of teamwork that I congratulate Mr. Jim Atkins as the recipient of the 3rd “We Are Harris” award! Jim is an individual who is one of our true “unsung heroes”- consistently going above and beyond his regular job duties to ensure success for Harris clients, as well as the entire Harris team.
Jim is a Software Support Analyst for the Specialized Student Solutions business unit and works out of the Rocklin, CA office where he is the sole customer support contact for our AIM solution. In this role, Jim works closely with our ROP clients to ensure all K-12 school district data is imported accurately into the AIM database, while writing software documentation, and performing on-site training and consultation. He has been with Harris since March 2008 having come over with the acquisition of Schoolhouse Software, where he started his Schools’ career in December 1998. Jim noted that although it’s been about 17 years since he started his journey, he still has an award on his desk that he keeps his pencils in which dates from 1999!
Jim was nominated for the “We Are Harris” award for his outstanding contributions as a team member. One example of this dedication was demonstrated over the past few months as construction around the Rocklin office caused numerous server outages and service disruptions. These outages directly impacted both our AIM clients and our internal teams. Additionally, hardware was also damaged and it needed to be replaced quickly. Jim stepped up to the plate and took on the added responsibilities of rebooting servers, installing replacement hardware, and even coming in the very early morning hours after a planned outage to ensure that everything was brought back up properly and downtime was kept to a minimum.
Jim took on all of these tasks proactively, willingly, without question, and focused his efforts on fixing the problems at hand; not worrying about whether or not they were on his list of responsibilities. This is but one example of the true teamwork that Jim continuously demonstrates, often working quietly behind the scenes to get the job done.
He is proud to describe himself as an advocate for the client, and over the many years he has developed close relationships with quite a few of them. Since Jim doesn’t always get to see the clients personally, he has learned to appreciate phone conversations, and the relationships built over the phone, almost as much as meeting our clients face-to-face. He finds that the clients motivate him and he shares their enthusiasm when things go well. He also recognizes that his role as a client advocate is critical to their success and ours as he attends to their product questions, needs and requests.
Empowerment at the Point of Contact is one of the Harris 10 Core Values that resonates with Jim. Throughout the years he has learned that after talking with clients, which typically includes School Principals and Directors, that people really appreciate a quick response when possible.
“If you don’t have a complete answer, clients understand that you give them what you can, knowing that you will promptly get back to them after further research” he stated.
For Jim, this is the most valuable goal personally, as well as the best way to work with clients. His advice to anyone who may join the Harris family is to learn about the many resources available to you, whether they are on your team or outside of your central organization, and take full advantage of any formal or informal training and ongoing education opportunities. The more you know about our solutions, the more information you can provide to our clients, which makes you stronger in your position.
Away from work Jim is a proud grandfather of 2-and-a-half-year-old Gideon and 6-month-old Fienna. He has been married for 32 years to his very patient wife, Kathy and has two grown daughters, Brianna and Megan.
Please join me in thanking Jim for his continued dedication to Harris and to our clients! We are lucky to have team members like Jim that we can rely on in any situation.
With Sincere Thanks,
Kathy Ritch and the entire Harris Team
About the “We Are Harris” Award
At Harris School Solutions we are thrilled to have some of the most knowledgeable and hardworking employees in the industry as part of our team! The “We Are Harris” Award is to celebrate, recognize and show our appreciation to an individual who exemplifies a particular Harris Core Value.