Mr. Michael Dobbs: Outstanding Leader

Maddy McFarlin, sports editor

Mr. Michael Dobbs is a technology support specialist (TSPEC) at South Lakes. His main focus is making sure the technology works, whereas a technology specialist would teach others how to work the technology. Dobbs attended Pennsylvania State University and found this position here at South Lakes because he had interned in Fairfax with some of the offices around here, including a web development office, where he found out about the TSPEC position in Fairfax County. According to Dobbs, the best part of his job is “helping someone with a problem that they’ve been having maybe for days, weeks, or even years and being able to help them solve it and make their day better.”

To Mr. Dobbs, the greatest challenge of working at South Lakes is the amount of technology that is present. Making sure everything is working the way it is supposed to is difficult. “The variety that I have to deal with, from student devices to teacher devices, is astounding to me still,” said Dobbs.

Due to these obstacles, he ended up working at South Lakes. Previously, he was employed at Hunters Woods Elementary School, which had about 600 computers compared to the 2,000 computers at South Lakes. “It is definitely a fast paced environment,” Dobbs remarked.

Mr. Dobbs considers his “flexibility and creativity” to be his greatest strengths. He said, “One of the things that I bring to my position is my ability to look at a problem from multiple angles. Especially when you are dealing with something unknown, you have to try many different approaches, research things using many different sources, and eventually, one of the solutions will work.”

The best part of his job? The people. He said that everyone always has a smile on their face. “Maybe not when they come in and their hard drive is dead, but at the end of the day, [the students] are generally friendly people and we are all here for the same mission.”

Mr. Dobbs feels honored to be nominated for the Outstanding Leader Award, “especially because [he] knows that sometimes we don’t take the time to thank and recognise people for their contributions and how they make life easier, [he is] honored that someone took the time out of their day to nominate [him].”