With more than 7,000 employees,
Business Operations is the largest division in HISD. But what exactly do we do?
Before students can ever file
into their classrooms, bus drivers and crossing guards must get them safely to
school. Cafeteria workers must make them a nutritious breakfast. Custodians,
police officers, and construction crews must make sure they have new, clean,
safe spaces in which to learn.
The breadth of our work touches
all facets of the district, and support is at the heart of everything we do. We
help lay the foundation for student success — most of the time behind the
As one of the longest-serving employees in Facilities Services and Fleet Operations, Sherry Jones’ career is fueled by a desire to be of service and to help wherever she can.
Jones – an administrative assistant – has been with HISD for 47 years. In that time, she’s worked with 15 managers and under the leadership of 11 superintendents, working hard to ensure her department is always properly supported.
According to Jones, her strong work ethic and desire to be of service was instilled by wise words from her mother that she carried with her throughout her career.
Sterling Aviation High School is preparing its students for success beyond high school through a unique program that couples classroom instruction and real-world automotive work experience.
In partnership with HISD’s Facilities Services and Fleet Operations, students from Sterling’s Automotive Technology program spend a full school year working alongside HISD employees, gaining valuable industry experience and becoming equipped to successfully enter the workforce upon graduation.
When Hurricane Harvey hit, Facilities Services Security Maintenance Dispatcher Kenneth Johnson left behind his home and relocated to the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, where he could monitor and serve the district.
“It was kind of scary,” Johnson said, recalling images captured on security cameras when the storm hit. “Water was going up the hallways.”
As the flood waters rose, some HISD locations lost their security camera feeds, but Johnson kept calm and helped organize response logistics, which included determining where to send technicians for maintenance.
Thomas Middle School is getting a facelift this summer thanks to the help of the Houston Independent School District Facilities Services team.
The school is being updated to accommodate incoming middle school students from Woodson, which is transitioning this summer from a prekindergarten through eighth-grade campus to a prekindergarten through fifth-grade academy.
“I am excited for the students,” newly appointed Principal Vernitra Shivers said, noting that she was excited to see the dated campus get an update. “We will be growing in numbers over the summer, so this is needed.”
Houston Independent School District’s Facility Services rolled out the red carpet for employees on Wednesday during a Hollywood-themed Welcome Back event designed to recognize workers for their outstanding performance.
Several hundred Facilities Services employees packed the bleachers of Barnett Fieldhouse to learn about new changes for the coming school year, including the development of new departmental values. Employees received surveys during the event to provide input on the values that are most important to them, as well as feedback on ways to improve the workplace culture and environment.
“Each of you is important,” Facility Services Officer Alisha Jolivette said as she addressed the crowd. “You have an impact on student education.”
Hundreds of Facilities Services employees celebrated the start of the new school year at a ‘Welcome Back’ event hosted by HISD Facilities Officer Brian Busby and his management team.
“We wanted to say ‘thank you’ for the effort you put in over the summer and throughout the year to ensure our schools are ready and safe for the kids,” Busby told the group. “There is no amount of letters, notes, awards or trophies I could present that could adequately express my appreciation for what you achieve each year, year after year. We always pull together as a team and get the job done.”
The event was held Tuesday at staggered times throughout the day to accommodate the large group, which included custodians and plant operators, as well as staff from facilities maintenance, security maintenance, business services, and grounds. The employees were treated to refreshments and had the opportunity to visit with colleagues and ask questions.
Busby used the occasion to discuss the strategic vision of the department and its culture of teamwork and accountability.
“I hope to instill the mindset throughout our division that we are all accountable, and we’re all in this together,” Busby said. “The bottom line is: It’s all about the kids. If it’s not kid-driven, then it will not be done.”