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 Getting to Know SDCOE: Help Desk Team Enjoys Solving Tech Problems

Two things are immediately clear when talking with the seven people who make up the Help Desk at the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE): They all really like fixing things, and they all enjoy helping people.

"I like troubleshooting and helping people find solutions for the problems they're experiencing," said Jesse Smith, one of the computer support technicians.

The team consists of computer support technicians Richard DeJarnatt, Hector Jimenez, Lamont Lee, Mike Lloyd, Rick Lopez, and Smith, along with their supervisor, Tyler Petro.

Not only do they service all SDCOE sites, but they also help support small school districts across the county, visiting a different district each day of the week.

"We're all over the place," Petro said. "It's typical to have most of our staff off-site all day."

They estimated that they each interact with as many as 500 people every month. They get 60 to 80 service requests each day.

"I like it," Lee said. "You get to know people and have contact with people throughout the county."

The team services computers and pretty much anything that works with them — "anything that runs a bit or a byte through it," DeJarnatt joked.

Some members of the team are relatively new to SDCOE while others have been here for years. DeJarnatt has been here about a year, while Smith has been here for 21 years, starting as a teacher's assistant at a court school.

Many of them grew up knowing they wanted to work with computers.

"Since I was young, I liked to tear all of the devices apart and see how they worked," said Jimenez, who owned his own tech consulting business before coming to SDCOE in 2012.

The team members said they're excited to be able to help provide a better educational experience for students throughout the county.

"This is a hardworking team," Petro said. "When things break, that's when people usually pay attention to our team, but we're working behind the scenes all the time."