As the nation anxiously awaits the final presidential debate this Monday and the eyes of the nation focus on Palm Beach County as the site of the debate, the work of a seldom-recognized group of workers will be on display- the school district’s Facilities Services Department. It is their work that helps create just the right educational atmosphere and that all-important lasting first impression.
In just a few days, the team has painted and spruced up the Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Boca Raton, the staging area for the hundreds of members of the media that will be covering the debate at Lynn University across the street from the school. The principal, staff and students all agree that their school has become even more beautiful than before and is ready for prime time.
“We are proud of our crews in Facilities Services for pulling together and showing great team work in readying Don Estridge for the debate,” said William Pinto, Facilities Management Coordinator. “We are also proud of one of the guys in particular, who sprang to voluntarily help one of the students at the school during a recent incident,” he said.
Facilities Team Member James Cunningham was on campus painting one recent afternoon when a student had dropped her cell phone into a drainage grate and was unable to retrieve it, despite help from several staff members tugging on the heavy steel grate. Cunningham saw what was happening and gave the needed hand to remove the grate. He then shimmied down into the dark, tight underground space and retrieved not just one but two student cell phones.
The students were ecstatic.
“I just saw a need and wanted to help. I was there and knew how important it was for the student to recover her phone. I guess it came natural to me to volunteer to help,” said Mr. Cunnigham.
“I was unbelievably impressed with Jim’s unsolicited effort,” said Don Estridge Principal Dave Benson. “He is a great person, and I appreciate not only what he and the crew are doing for Don Estridge, but also how he went above and beyond the call of duty to help out.”
The School District of Palm Beach County Division of Support Operations provides world-class facilities services to support and enhance the educational experience of all students.