Transforming a Beautiful Campus into Home

Grounds Supervisor Vince Campellone started at George School on February 28, 1975. For nearly five decades, he has been transforming the natural beauty of the George School campus into a home for students, faculty, and their families. “The students keep you young and the work environment is great,” said Vince. “I have lived on campus since 1977 and there is no better place to raise kids. My son graduated from George School in 2012 and my daughter in 2014. I am proud of them both and thankful for the great education they received.”

What Vince loves most about leading the grounds team at George School is the freedom to tackle the job. “Working grounds often feels like being a farmer,” explained Vince. “The work never has an ending and there is always something to do to maintain the grounds during each season. I love being on the mower and lining the athletic fields to prepare for a game or match. Nothing beats the look of fresh cut, green grass with crisp white lines. I show up every day and take pride in my work, which means taking pride in the beautiful campus that we have surrounded by nature. That can make things difficult come Fall when we have mountains of leaves to rake, or in the winter when we work late nights in a rush to clear the snowy paths for students the next day, but we also like to have fun. You have to have humor to do this type of work and make it fun. There are only five of us on the grounds staff, with some student help in the summer, but most of our team has been here for decades and take pride in the work we do. You can see it walking around campus. It shows.”

One of Vince’s responsibilities is coordinating Saturday Morning Work Detail. “Very few students make it through George School without getting assigned at least one Saturday work duty, so I have the opportunity to get to know most students,” said Vince. “I always tell students at the end of their duty, ‘Appreciate your help, let’s do it again next week.’ Some of them take that seriously, others say that we will never see them again after getting a taste of the work. We’ve had a few frequent flyers over the years, and I have enjoyed getting to know them. We call them ‘Charter Members’ of Saturday work duty. We have a sign hanging in our shop that came from the old Bettye’s Place (the campus snack bar) that welcomes students to Saturday work duty. Sometimes the Deans complain that students are more eager to choose Saturday work duty over Friday evening duty.”

“I think it is relaxing—stepping away from the computer and putting down their phone—for some of them to get out and put in a few hours of hard work. I always tell the students that the time goes by faster if they actually do the work. Most students absorb that and buy in. It is a rite of passage at George School and I enjoy when alumni, who are dropping off their children, stop and tell me about their memories doing Saturday work duty with me.”

Many students also know Vince through his role as the Varsity Baseball coach. “I consider myself a huge baseball fan and just love the game. It is a thinking man’s game and is all about strategy, which I enjoy. However, a team is only as good as the players. I am looking forward to getting back to a normal season as we only had seven games during the pandemic. I have seen many teams during my time at George School and the best teams had kids who played summer ball. Our teams are their best when players don’t put down their gloves at the end of a season but keep playing. Every Alumni Day, I see old teammates reconnecting and reminiscing about their time on the field together. That kind of camaraderie is special and a huge part of the George School education. I like to say, you’re a Quaker in the classroom but not when you are at bat. No one gets thrown in jail for stealing second.”

Being at George School for so many years, Vince has seen many students grow during their time on campus. “Graduation is bittersweet for me. I am happy for the students to continue to the next step of their journey but am sad that I may not see some of them again,” reflected Vince. “While George School has a truly beautiful campus, it is the students that make this place special.”