Meet Galesburg High School North's new principal: Knox alumna Mindi Ritchie '99! GHS North is an "alternative...
Assistant Head Groundskeeper, Oakland Athletics
Major in Environmental Science, Self-Designed Minor in Field Maintenance
What have you been doing since Knox?
I have worked for multiple baseball teams as a groundskeeper, including the Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and Beloit Snappers. Now, for Oakland Athletics, I organize the crew who takes care of the field. I make sure a lot of the work gets done correctly and that everyone is working as a team. Another part of the job is to communicate field usage with coaches and players, which is making sure that the field is ready for them when they need it.
What led to your interest in groundskeeping?
It came from my love for baseball and my love for the outdoors. I enjoy the sport, and I also enjoy the science and beauty of nature. It’s fun for me to be active outside while making the field ready for the players.
What's the most important thing you learned at Knox outside the classroom?
I learned best how to manage time and problem solve. Balancing academics, fraternity life, sports, friends, work, and church was tough, but all of it helped shape me into the person I am today. My advisor, John Haslem, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, helped me a lot outside of the classroom to prioritize what I had to do and be more productive. He helped me out with a lot of personal development.
What is your favorite memory from your time at Knox?
Winning the Midwest Conference baseball tournament at home! We were a huge underdog throughout it and it was great having all of my friends from Knox there to help celebrate when we won. Our group of baseball players was a very close-knit group. We had fun going to practice, traveling, and playing games. The last day of the conference tournament we won three games straight and ended up winning the tournament.
Photo above: Zach interned on the grounds crew for the Burlington Bees while a student at Knox. Photo below: Zach with his sister, Kelly Ricketts '12, and their mom at Oakland Coliseum.