From the President
With another school year quickly coming to a close, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for continued support of the Association and dedication to the profession.
My fellow Association leaders and I understand the current economic climate the education community faces. At the end of last month we gathered for our annual Leadership Weekend. Our theme this year was Leading through Change, and we’re committed to developing ways to support one another on a local and statewide level. I encourage you to read the summary below, and watch your email and mail for more about our ideas for the future.
As valued members of SBGA, your active participation directly impacts our ability to support and advocate for the school facilities profession. This month you will all receive your dues renewal notice for the 2011-12 year. Now, more than ever, there are a number of reasons to continue your membership in SBGA:
- Networking and mentoring opportunities through Chapter meetings, regional training programs, and our annual conference
- Cost-effective, top quality education, training and professional development programs
- Statewide representation and a vocal and visible presence among state lawmakers and policymakers
- Regular, consistent communication packed with industry news from New York State and around the nation
- Enhanced website and online membership directory, giving you access to all of the resources you need right from our homepage – www.sbga.org
- Valuable programs designed to help you succeed in your job, including the updated Job Bank and the Facilities Assessment and Legal Assistance Programs.
Please help us strengthen our Association by renewing your membership, and encouraging your colleagues to do the same.
Have you registered for conference yet? This year’s event, Managing Change, was developed to help participants discover ways to reduce costs while improving efficiency and ensuring safe, clean, healthy schools for students. I encourage you all to register early and save a combined total of $150, and save paper and time by registering online! I look forward to seeing you all at this year’s conference, and celebrating all of our collective accomplishments.
Finally, I hope you all take an opportunity to enjoy the spring weather and have a safe Memorial Day with your family and friends.
William Blosser, CDF
We’re excited to share with you all that SBGA and SFMI headquarters has relocated to a new, convenient location in Albany. We are confident that the additional space and growth potential our new office provides will translate into noticeable benefits for the association.
Our New Headquarters
136 Everett Road
Albany, NY 12205
Our phone and fax numbers, email addresses and website will all remain the same.
Name: Paul B. Rooney
District: Haverstraw/Stony Point CSD
Title: Director of Facilities III
Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer (Rockland)
Personal Information: I am married and have two teenagers, a 13 year old son and 15 year old daughter. My family has lived in Stony Point for two generations. I have been a volunteer fireman for over 22 years. I am a certified Safety Instructor for NASCAR, and have worked at Pocono Raceway since 1993 as a member of the fire rescue team. My family and I enjoy traveling with our RV and try to use it as much as we can. This includes taking our 5 year old beagle also.
Leading Through Change
SBGA and SFMI Officers, Board Meet in White Plains for Annual Leadership Weekend
SBGA/SFMI leaders gathered in White Plains for their annual Leadership Weekend April 28-30, and the theme this year was Leading Through Change. Given the economic and political climate schools are facing today, this weekend was dedicated to discussing ways SBGA and SFMI can support our Chapters, and most importantly, our members.
"It is the collective ideas that are the strength of this organization, and although we're comprised of 17 diverse Chapters across the state, we have one common goal: supporting school facilities directors and their staff," stated Bill Blosser, CDF, SBGA President (Monroe-Woodbury CSD). "I thank all of the leaders for their active participation and continued leadership in the Association."
Last Chance for Nominations!
Are you looking to increase your leadership role? Know someone who would make a strong 3rd Vice President? The deadline of May 31st is rapidly approaching. Mail your nominations today!
Attn: Keith Watkins, RDF, Nominating Committee Chair
136 Everett Road
Albany, NY 12205
Qualifications: Prior service as a State Director for a minimum of one year and/or a Chapter President who has attended at least one leadership conference. All nominations are due Tuesday, May 31, 2011!
SBGA’s Job Bank – Keep Your Career Moving
In the economic climate of today it is imperative that we come together as an association and help one another out! This tool is a wonderful, free of charge benefit of your membership with SBGA. SBGA is currently seeking job postings to add to our new Job Bank. Upload a position or contact Meg at Association headquarters. We appreciate your participation.
Take advantage of this opportunity to advance your career, hire an experienced and dedicated facilities professional, view sample interview questions, or learn how to become a director of facilities. Visit the site today, and keep your career moving!
Don’t forget about SBGA’s Legal Assistance Program
Navigating Civil Service and education law can be daunting, especially during these challenging economic times. SBGA can help! Another great SBGA member benefit: SBGA pays for up to one free hour of legal assistance! Call and speak to an attorney about civil service and education law.
Call association headquarters at (518) 465-0563 to be connected with our attorney, Brian Kremer.
SBGA Welcomes New Commissioner of Education
SBGA is pleased to welcome Dr. John King as the newest elected Commissioner of Education. The association and Dr. King have already established a positive relationship, as he spoke at the 2010 Critical Issues Summit. SBGA looks forward to working with Dr. King on bettering learning environments for New York States students.
Dr. King currently serves as Senior Deputy Commissioner for P-12 Education at the New York State Education Department where, for the past two years, he has led the effort to implement the Regents reform agenda and coordinated New York’s successful Race to the Top application. Prior to joining the State Education Department in 2009, John was a nationally recognized education leader who founded and led urban public schools that have won acclaim for their success in closing the achievement gap and preparing students to succeed in college.
Assembly Approves Earth Day Legislative Package
On May 9, the New York State Assembly approved its “Earth Day” package of legislation.
The Assembly's Earth Day package includes the following legislation:
- Requiring the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to establish rules for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to minimize global warming (A.5346).
- Providing DEC with authority over wetlands that are one acre or more (A.3374);
- Require violators to repair damaged areas adjacent to wetlands (A.5638);
- Requiring permits for large water withdrawals (A.5318-A);
- Authorizing the use of “cool roofs” on new or substantially renovated state-owned buildings (A.96);
- Requiring the commissioner of environmental conservation to publish a list of high local environmental impact zones (A.611); and
- Prohibiting the sale of mercury-added consumer products (A.668).
Winning Fields Seminar
The New York State Turf Grass Association (NYSTA) is extending an invitation to participate in their Winning Fields Seminar. The goal of this seminar is to increase awareness of the important skills necessary to maintain safe, high quality scholastic/municipal sports turf. Hear from Greg Chorvas, NYSTA President, Frank Rossi, Ph.D., Cornell University, Alex Ellram, Ph.D., SUNY Cobleskill, Ben McGraw, Ph.D., SUNY Delhi and more! Click here to register. DEC abd STMA credits are available.
June 14, 2011, Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, Home of the Tri-City ValleyCats, Troy, NY
Potential PCB Contamination in Public Schools
By, NYSED: Office of Facilities Planning
Recently, several NYC school facilities were inspected by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under a pilot program to determine the extent of PCB contamination in City public schools. All five of the facilities were found to have varying levels of PCB contamination, from installed products, and action was taken to remove and replace the contaminated material. This pilot study has demonstrated that PCB’s may exist throughout the New York State public school systems due to the average age of our facilities.
George D. Maziarz
Senator George D. Maziarz proudly represents the 62nd District in the New York State Senate, which encompasses all of Niagara County outside the City of Niagara Falls, all of Orleans County, and the western portion of Monroe County.
Maziarz has spent a career in government service. He was appointed City Clerk in his hometown of North Tonawanda in 1978 at the young age of 25, and he eventually became Niagara County Clerk in 1989. Six years later, esteemed Senator John Daly resigned his seat to become Commissioner of the NYS Department of Transportation, and Maziarz entered the Senate after winning a hotly-contested special election. Since 1995, the voters of his district have consistently returned him to office for his tireless work ethic on behalf of the public good.
School Facilities Management Webinar
Managing Change: Prioritizing Tasks
Thursday, July 14, 2011, 12-1pm
Join SBGA, SFMI and Diversey, Inc. Thursday, July 14 for our next School Facilities Webinar - Managing Change: Prioritizing Tasks. During this complimentary webinar (free for SBGA members), Cameron Adams of Diversey, Inc. will help participants prioritize custodial and cleaning tasks in light of budget cuts and the loss of staff. Register today!
Cameron Adams from Diversey, Inc. will present on the following topics:
- Prioritizing work/tasks
- Distinguishing each task's level of importance and recommended frequency of completion
- Determining the necessary frequency of tasks
- Strategies for maintaining health and safety in your school buildings
- Identifying costly tasks and costly areas to clean
In Effect as of May 18, 2011: The Child Safe Playing Fields Act
NY’s Ban on Pesticide Use on School and Day Care Center Grounds
Under the State Education Law and Social Services Law, as amended by Chapter 85 of the Laws of 2010, no school or day care center may apply pesticides on playgrounds, turf, and athletic or playing fields, except that an emergency application may be made, as determined by entities identified in the law, including DEC. READ MORE>>
To shed some light on this new law, SBGA, SFMI and John Deer Landscapes teamed up to bring you The Dirty Details: Understanding the New Law & Guidance for Managing School Fields. Dr. Jennifer Grant of Cornell University provided insight, strategies and techniques for keeping your fields safe and well-maintained. If you missed the webinar, be sure to check out the archived webinar on our website (free for members)!
Please note, as this is a new law the exact interpretation and details for implementation will undoubtedly evolve in time. SBGA will be monitoring developments and keep you posted.
Join Us in Saratoga this October!
School Facility Management Conference Online Registration Open
Managing Change October 2-5, 2011 Saratoga City Center & Hilton Saratoga Springs
Register early for last year’s rate and save a total of $150 on your conference tuition and hotel package! (June 30th Deadline)
Classrooms and fields play a large role in students’ overall growth and achievement. At the center of students’ educational experience is the physical campus – the buildings and grounds. The professionals that maintain this space ensure clean, safe, healthy, energy-efficient learning environments – all of which play are a critical component of our educational mission. Recent studies highlight the positive effects that quality facilities have on students – join us as we explore the many links between well-maintained facilities, achievement and test scores.
2011 Expo - Online Registration Open
Register for the School Facilities Expo online! Showcase your latest and greatest products and services at the premier exhibit show in New York State during the Get Connected! Expo. Sponsorship and exhibit materials are available on our website, and a brochure was mailed out in March.
The early registration deadline is July 8...save $400 and register today!
School Facility Managers’ Academy Series December 6-7 2011
The Academy has the latest information on code compliance, budgeting and health and safety requirements. Seminar topics address the very latest information needed to create and maintain high-performing learning environments for students, faculty and staff. Please watch your email and the website for updates and registration information on the SFMI Academy Series.
Leading Through a Fiscal Nightmare
The Impact on Principals and Superintendents
By Rick Ginsberg and Karen D. Multon
The New Normal for Superintendents: Living in ‘survival mode.’ Superintendents reported that much of the reform and innovative work under way in their districts had ceased. Cuts had forced them to focus on basic processes and nothing more. Faculty and staff were notably concerned about the future. The principals and superintendents we worked with also suggested ways to cope with periods of fiscal strain. Part of the formula is dispositional, part personal, and the rest is action-oriented. First, principals and superintendents adopted a ‘can-do’ attitude even in the face of difficult budgetary decisions. On one of the scales we used in our survey, both principals and superintendents reported strong responses to questions about finding their way out of a jam, solving problems, and energetically pursuing their goals.
The World’s Greenest K-12 Building?
by Susan DeFreitas
Wondering where the world’s greenest K-12 school building is? According to the International Living Building Institute (ILBI), it’s the Hawai’i Preparatory Academy’s Energy Lab on the Big Island.
This facility was designed to meet the Living Building Challenge, which is widely regarded as the world’s most rigorous standard for green building. In order to achieve its status as a Living Building through the ILBI, designers had to demonstrate that it generates all of its own energy via clean, renewable sources; captures and treats its own wastewater using ecologically sound techniques; incorporates only nontoxic, appropriately sourced materials; and operates not only efficiently, but for “maximum beauty.”
The building has achieved the distinction of this ultra-green certification following a year-long energy audit by the ILBI.
“The purpose of the Living Building Challenge is to fundamentally transform the relationship between the built and natural environments,” commented Jason F. McLennan, CEO of the institute, in a statement. He goes on to note that by incorporating advanced restorative design practices into its Energy Lab, Hawai’i Preparatory Academy has created a unique educational opportunity. (Like so many other green schools on the mainland, students here will collect and study real-time comparative data on the building’s renewable energy systems and energy efficiency.)
As an added bonus, the Energy Lab will produce a surplus of energy, allowing it to contribute power to the campus’s other buildings
How to Thrive When Your Organization Restructures
Over the past few years, many organizations have survived by getting smaller (through downsizing) or getting bigger (after being acquired by another company). The changes can be unsettling, but they can also provide opportunities for growth for both you and your employees. Here’s how to manage the transition and proper in the new regime:
- Keep a low profile at first. At the beginning of any major change effort, turf battles and dissension can cost people their jobs. Don’t make waves in one direction or the other. Don’t complain or criticize, event to colleagues you think you can trust. When stress is high – as it usually is during reorganizations – information can leak easily to the wrong people.
- Identify problems to solve. As the changes begin to solidify, look for ways you and your staff can contribute to the new order. If you can resolve problems before they become major – information bottlenecks, for example, or unexpected gaps in the new structure – you’ll make allies around the organization.
- Refrain from self-pity. Major changes can be emotionally difficult to handle. Listen to your employees and show that you understand their feelings, but don’t get sucked into endless griping sessions that demolish morale. If you get branded as a complainer, your usefulness to the organization will be limited – and so will your job security.
- Pay attention to what’s happening. Don’t hide and wit for the storm to pass. Get out and talk to your colleagues so you can learn important news quickly and early. Share what you know with staff so they can adapt as needed. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a chance to influence the decisions that will affect the company.
-Adapted from Harvard Management Update
Start Building a Team of Top Performers
Most managers dream of leading a team of high-performing professionals. You don’t have to just fantasize, though. Here’s how to help good employees develop into superstars:
- Encourage self-knowledge. Top performers know what their strengths and weaknesses are. Give them feedback, and urge them back to seek out further feedback and reinforcement on their own.
- Give stretch assignments. Assign tasks that take them out of their comfort zones – just enough to expand their skills, but not so far that they freak out.
- Assist interaction. Help employees develop networks that are broad and deep. Assign them to cross-departmental teams, and create opportunities for informal meetings between people at all levels.
-Adapted from the Fox Business website
Quote of the Month
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead
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