BFS

A Q&A with Alex Guzchenko, Director of Facilities

This article appears in the summer 2022 issue of The Light, our Brooklyn Friends School magazine. 

Alex is far from just your normal, everyday, Director of Facilities here at Brooklyn Friends School. In fact, Alex—who has been here for more than 25 years—has degrees from multiple trade schools and also received his BA in Criminal Justice from John Jay College. Before arriving at BFS, Alex spent many years serving in the military as a radio communications specialist back in Ukraine.

Q: When did you arrive at BFS?

A: I arrived at BFS in 1996 right before Christmas time, and when I received my first paycheck, which was given ahead of time due to the holiday season. I was impressed because getting paid ahead of time without putting any effort into the job yet was kind of unusual.

Q: You have had many roles here at BFS, but can you talk a little bit about why you love working here. What do you like about the work, the people, etc.?

A: Before I start talking about myself, I want to say that the BFS community is truly amazing. There is always a great feeling when you know that the community respects you and respects your skills. Getting a contract from year to year proves the point that you are progressing and helps the community get to the next level of professionalism. We sometimes spend more time being here than being home, and it becomes sort of second nature of who we are. There is an expression: if you like and enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life.

Q: You have an incredible team that works with you. Can you talk a little bit about what a great group we have here at BFS in our facilities team?

A: We have such an amazing team, and I would say that team is a backbone of the school on all levels. Some of us have become friends over all these years and have great support for each other. We are really just like a working family who carry all the best abilities to support the environment on a daily basis.

Q: Alex, everyone knows that you are from Ukraine. This has been a very stressful several months for you for obvious reasons. People might not realize that you still have many close family and friends in Ukraine and that your parents were there during the most violent days at the start of the invasion. Thankfully, your parents have left Ukraine and are safe. What thoughts are in your heart?

A: This question is not easy to answer. At first, I was overwhelmed and the worst part of it was that I was helpless and couldn’t do anything. I still have family in Ukraine, although my closest family members have reached safety. I still feel the emotions playing in the background of my head subconsciously. It feels great to know that your family is safe, but the reality of knowing what some people are continuing to go through will make your heart bleed.

Q: What is your favorite thing about BFS?

A: Meeting different people at BFS is a great experience, and I believe there is always a reason why we met. Every single relationship you encounter will take you down your path to develop your personality while you are moving through life.

Q: What is your favorite movie?

A: This is my favorite question because I love watching movies. The range of movies go from some family entertainment like “Matilda” to “Goodfellas,” which is my second nature since I graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and all of these stories are just simply masterpieces. There are a lot of great movies.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you are NOT at BFS?

A: I love to travel. Changing the atmosphere is healthy and refreshing.

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