The son of a high school teacher and college professor, it’s no surprise Andrew Grabowski found a career path that led him back to the world of education. But if you ask Andrew—Bernard Zell’s Director of Technology—if he had ever envisioned himself working in a school, he’ll confidently tell you that his middle school self would have never believed he would become someone who spends his days working with teachers and students.
Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Andrew attended Western Michigan University where he studied sales and business marketing. While working a college job as an usher at the Kalamazoo State Theater, Andrew stuck up a conversation with a fellow usher who would go on to become his girlfriend, and later, his wife. Following graduation, the two moved to New York where Andrew worked for Apple, helping to open a new store and ensuring the success of the retail operation’s technology infrastructure. From that experience, Andrew received extensive training and acquired a lot of the expertise he still draws on today.
But with a desire for a midwestern sensibility with the energy and opportunities of a big city, Andrew and Danielle moved to Chicago where he began in the role of Systems Administrator at Latin School of Chicago, a role he held for five years. Looking for further growth and an expanded portfolio of responsibility, Andrew’s boss at Latin pointed him to Bernard Zell and the Director of Technology position he holds today. At Bernard Zell, Andrew has been a leader in modernizing technology resources both for students and school operations and played a crucial role in getting the new building open throughout the last year.
As a professional who works with teachers, students and administrators, and the “tech guy” who everyone leans on when devices aren’t working, Andrew interacts with a wide range of individuals across Bernard Zell. Occasionally, those individuals seeking Andrew’s guidance on getting their personal tech to work again get to know one of his many talents. Beyond his wizardry in getting computers to work as intended, Andrew is a fluent Spanish speaker, an accomplished Yo-Yo-er, a DJ working bars around Chicago and an outdoor enthusiast, often taking camping trips with his wife to picturesque midwest locales. But the next skill he’s hoping to master is that of father. Andrew and his wife Danielle are expecting their first child this spring.
While years ago, Andrew would have never seen himself working in a school, he’s now grateful for the opportunities to interact with students. Not only does he enjoy helping to prepare the next generation of Jewish leaders to be technologically proficient, but he’s also gleaning some paternal instincts and beginning to think about being able to shape the next generation in his own family.