The Student Behind The Scenes: Andrej Klema

After a mentally taxing day of class, many of Groton’s students head to either sports practice or theater. However, Andrej Klema, a Fifth Former, files into the equipment room to assist Athletic Equipment Manager Jim Lockney with stringing racquets, issuing uniforms, and organizational management. Andrej’s presence and commitment to his position allow Mr. Lockney to focus on other parts of his job, such as booking the ice-hockey rinks with outside clients. 

It is difficult to confine Andrej’s job to one of the labels of Groton’s afternoon activities. Andrej considers it “either an unpaid internship or work-study,” and views the job as a way to learn practical and applicable skills. 

Andrej clearly plays an important role in the organization and cleanliness of team uniforms; nevertheless, there are critics who say he is too strict in his new job. Andrej, however, believes his strictness is essential to maintain order and efficiency on game days. He will not hesitate to yell if people come in last minute before a game. Andrej strives to achieve success by abiding by his duties. 

He added, “The word in our office is ‘RESPONSIBLE.’ Whenever we seem extremely strict, it is just to ensure that everyone carries out the order of that word. By issuing uniforms to students, we place a trust in them. When they forget their uniforms, our trust is violated, and we don’t appreciate it. Jim doesn’t. I don’t. We work hard. Strictness represents the seriousness we take our jobs with and the expectations we have of all those whom we serve.”

Mr. Lockey is proud of Andrej’s work. He said, “Andrej began his position as a student equipment room helper last year and has been enthusiastically appointed to that position again this year in the fall and spring. His work ethic is second to none…. As the Equipment Room Manager, I am most impressed by Andrej’s ability to maintain a smooth flow of traffic each and every day and especially on game days which are consistently chaotic.” 

Andrej’s perpetual character, diligence, and discipline are crucial to ensure that all of Groton’s athletic teams can go and compete well equipped and well dressed.