Maintenance & Operations

Membership in an Organization is Beneficial

The mission of the National School Plant Management Association is to create and enhance educational facilities in order to provide an optimal learning/working environment for students and staff in schools nationwide. The NSPMA provides professional development, promotes leadership, and our publications provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices. The organization hosts professional conferences and promotes research that helps to shape policies and procedures that can be applied nationwide. The NSPMA encourages the participation from educational professionals and school boards in order to maintain a unified approach to improve and sustain educational facilities.

The NSPMA’s annual conference provides outstanding learning and networking opportunities for its members and others that may be involved in facilities management. The well-attended conference provides an opportunity for vendors to make contact with those who are actively involved in managing and procuring materials for school operations. Vendors include major mechanical systems, lighting, custodial supplies, flooring, uniforms, energy management programs, as well as other specialized equipment representatives. The NSPMA has the support of several corporate sponsors. Lennox Industries is a Diamond Partner and the organization’s largest nationwide corporate sponsor. Mr. Brian Wright, representative of Lennox continues to be instrumental in the success and growth of our organization. Other major sponsors include our Platinum partners, Big Ass Fans and Hillyard. Gold level partners include Tremco, Shaw Carpets, and Tandus Centiva. Silver level partners include Bluefin, LLC, MP Global, Transworld Electrical Contractors, Hoffman & Hoffman, and CMI. The support of these partners is invaluable. As the organization continues to grow, this provides the opportunity for other vendors to actively participate. The annual conference features well-noted speakers. For example, in past conferences we have had the opportunity to hear Dr. Michael Berry, Lou Tice, Dr. Willard R. Daggett and Mary Jo Paloranta. The conference this past year also featured a Green School presentation by Dr. Steven Marable. Dr. Marable is an administrator in Virginia Beach Public Schools, Virginia. His doctoral dissertation through Virginia Tech won an International award for his research in Green Schools, through the International Society for Technology in Education.

The number of states represented from around the country in the NSPMA is continuing to grow and includes international representation from Saudi Arabia. Our goal is to have every state in the country represented. There is a benefit for everyone when considering topics such as energy management, best practices, and the possibility of creating a format for a national facilities certification program. The NSPMA provides an avenue for facilities managers to grow professionally.

Attracting new members will ensure that the efforts of our current and past members continue. Newly elected board member, Mr. John Rome is the Executive Director of Physical Plant Services for the St. Charles Parish Public Schools, Louisiana. Mr. Rome states, “The NSPMA provides a platform for K-12 school facility managers to develop professionally through a multitude of training sessions, collegial conversations, vendor networking sessions and product/service demonstrations. The organization promotes lifelong learning and continuous improvement of the facilities that house our students and children.” Mr. Keith Watkins is the CDF/Director of Facilities for the Marcellus School District, New York. Mr. Watkins states, “As an NSPMA member I have the ability to tap into an invaluable amount of knowledge and experience while addressing the everyday and systematic challenges facing our public schools. The ultimate goal is to provide a safe and clean environment for all students, staff, and patrons who utilize our facilities resulting in a stronger bond and structure. The future is bright. The NSPMA and other state associations will be leading the charge in a continual changing environment known as School Facilities Management.”

The NSPMA is seeking new members and now is the time to get involved. You may contact board members via phone or email. Contact information can be found on our web page. Participation in our national conference offers vendors the opportunity to have access to hundreds of facility managers and schools districts throughout the nation. Continue to follow our journey as we begin to prepare for our National Conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia for the late spring of 2016. You can find membership, conference and vendor registration information at our website at nspma.org.

This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of School Planning & Management.

About the Author

John A. Bailey, Ph.D. is the director of School Plants for Chesapeake Public Schools and a National School Plant Managers Association board member, representing Virginia, and a Virginia School Plant Managers Association board member, representing Region II, in Virginia.

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