By Kael Beltmann, Current Staff
Everyone knows his voice, but few know his name.
The familiar voice behind the West Bend School District’s All Call messages belongs to Warren Arndt, a member of the district’s technology department. When parents and students need to know important information, such as school cancellations, Arndt records the phone message and sends it to all district families.
Families have often heard from Arndt over the last three weeks. Today is the sixth school cancellation due to weather since Jan. 23.
“On a weather-related closing, I usually receive a call in the morning between 4:15 a.m. and 5 a.m. for the closure,” Arndt said. “I then proceed to set the call notification that is sent to all families and staff. I log into the system and record the message. If we know ahead of time that a snow day is inevitable for the next day, I can prep the night before and just click ‘send’ in the morning.”
The School Messenger (All Call) system was implemented in 2008. At that time, Arndt was chosen to be the “voice” of the automated system. Most of the messages are scripted, so all Arndt has to do when recording is insert the correct date. There are scripts for “closing today,” “2-hour delay,” “closing early,” “closed tomorrow” and “closing on a staff day only.”
Arndt joined the district’s food service department 31 years ago but spent his summers working with the district’s computer technician. When a job opened in the technology department, Arndt applied.
“From that day forward my technology hobby turned into my career,” Arndt said. “My role has changed over the course of time and now includes managing many technology systems and overseeing/managing the technical issues as they arise, and resolving these issues with the technology team.”
Twelve years ago Arndt became a member of the West Bend Community TV Committee, which supports communication between citizens, government, public and private institutions and other organizations of the city and surrounding communities.
He enjoys West Bend’s parks, especially the walking trails, and takes a daily walk on his lunch break. His favorite seasons are spring and summer.
“I am not a real winter weather fan,” Arndt said.
(Video produced today by the West Bend Current.)