By Anthony Price
If you are fortunate enough to walk into the right junior or senior English classroom in a certain Florida high school, you might meet a doppelganger of Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope. Hilary “Flick” Serra lives her life by Ms. Knope’s paraphrased motto, “If I come on strong, it’s because I care so much.” And, in her two summers directing camp for iD Tech, Hilary has demonstrated exactly how much she cares, and that is what has makes her an awesome iD Tech Director.
Hilary came to iD Tech after seeing one of her coworkers share a camp director opening post on Facebook. After applying Hilary started her iD Tech career as the director for the UNC-Chapel Hill Tech Camp where she led fifteen staff members. This past summer Hilary captained the iD Programming Academy at the University of Texas-Austin, a program with three instructors. Hilary enjoyed both experiences. At UNC, her immediate focus was creating a really great staff culture and connecting all of those different talents. At the Programming Academy, Hilary had a year of experience and less staff to manage. Both factors allowed her to become the ideal mentor for her staff. In her words, “I went from the person who needed all the answers to being the person with all the answers.
Hilary’s desire to mentor others extends beyond the weeks of camp. Hilary travelled to training this spring to help share her experiences with new camp directors. Hilary urged new directors to read the tech guide inside and out before camp because, “your staff expect you to know everything on the first day of camp.” At the same time, she wanted other directors to know that you do not have to a technical savant to direct camp. In her words, “Before camp my first season, I didn’t even know what a serial key was. But, if you are prepared and knowledgeable coming into camp, you will be successful. Most parents want to know general things…What’s the next course? What’s a CEU? Details about camp.” She believes that good directors can prepare to answer those questions with the training and resources iD Tech provides before camp starts.
As a high school English and art history teacher, Hilary thinks that directing camp is the ideal summer job. She believes “teachers have a lot of the same skill set (that the job requires). There is a balance between structure and administration.” She also believes that many teachers are curious to see what it would be like to be a principal. Directing camp, she believes, gives teachers insight into that role.
Hilary is excited about directing in the summer of 2016. She is still wowed at the immediate trust parents, kids, and staff put in her as director. Most of all she is amazed about how fulfilling the experience is and how she learns so much from her staff and students. Hilary “just loves it as a summer job. I just love the model of iD Tech Camps and the whole company.”