Chatham@Work | KEITH MEDLIN, Chatham County Schools

Posted 8/9/19

Keith Medlin, the Chief Information & Technology Officer for Chatham County Schools, was born in the late 70s in Detroit, where he attended Michigan State University and earned undergraduate and …

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Chatham@Work | KEITH MEDLIN, Chatham County Schools

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Keith Medlin, the Chief Information & Technology Officer for Chatham County Schools, was born in the late 70s in Detroit, where he attended Michigan State University and earned undergraduate and master’s degrees. He and his wife Allison — they were high school sweethearts — and son now call Apex home. “I’ve been lucky enough to be a proud member of this amazing school system for nine years as of September,” he said.

What was your first paying job, and what did it teach you?

I worked for my future father-in-law at his department store. It was an incredible job that taught me so many things about customer service and critically, “If you can’t be on time, be early,” which is something that’s stuck with me ever since.

What’s the most difficult job you’ve ever had?

I had a horrendous job working for a golf course where one of my duties included picking up golf balls off the driving range…by hand…wearing a helmet…while golfers were actively using it. Thankfully, I was never injured with more than a bad bruise.

What part of your job would most surprise people?

How much we agonize about school schedule changes as a result of inclement weather. We exhaust every opportunity to drive the roads, consult with experts, and local advisement resources before making a call to try to get it right. Safety for everyone who interacts with our school system as a parent, student, employee or guest is taken into consideration. It’s even more complex when the county is as geographically large as ours and considering how many employees must make their way to work from surrounding communities.

Who is your personal hero?

Fred Rogers. His thoughtful dedication to everyone around him was something truly special. I love how much he elevated what television could be and how he always saw children as fully formed humans with thoughts and emotions that deserved respect.

Favorite weekend getaway:

Charleston, South Carolina, because it’s a very walkable city with some of best food in the southeast.

What’s your favorite athletic team, and why?

The Carolina Hurricanes because our family loves hockey.

How many hours per week do you spend online?

There are times I’m offline?

What radio station do you listen to most frequently?

I almost exclusively listen to podcasts and audiobooks so I don’t even know the local radio stations.

Your strongest childhood ambition was:

I wanted to be a stand-up comedian from the time I was in second grade.

One food you’ll never be caught eating:

I’m like Mikey. I will eat anything.

Something not many people know you collect is?

Board wargames.

What’s the best way you know to spend $20?

Giving to one of the many fundraising efforts that directly support Chatham County Schools. There are so many ways to give and so many great organizations, I won’t single one out, but you can absolutely find a match between an issue you care about and a local organization that addresses that need in our schools.

Favorite place to eat:

Tienda Loma Bonita in Siler City. Everything is fresh and delicious. Supporting our local businesses is something I enjoy as part of my work in the community.

What is your favorite book?

“Hyperion,” by Dan Simmons.

Where would someone be most likely to find you on a Saturday night?

Asleep. I work hard and sleep hard. There’s rarely time for fun.

Favorite dessert?

Apple pie. It has been my birthday dessert since I was 6.

Who’s your best friend and why?

Without question, my wife. We were friends before we dated and every year together is better than the last. That’s rare and I don’t take it for granted.

If you could create one rule that all society had to live by, what would it be?

I wouldn’t add any rules, I’d just kindly remind folks of The Golden Rule.


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