September 2012 Column

  Public Education continues to take on more responsibility. The instruction of reading, writing and arithmetic is just one component of the real workings of any educational institution. 
Certified employees (this includes teachers, counselors, administrators, nurses and special education staff) are generally at the forefront of a conversation when education is discussed. However, there are a large number of HMS workers behind the scenes who deserve credit for our successes.
Our nutritional services department serves more than 8,000 meals – both breakfast and lunch - every day. HMS has a central kitchen located at the Freshman High School,  so everymeal is prepared in the new kitchen. Those meals are then delivered to 12 elementary schools and three middle schools via warehouse trucks.
Another behind-the-scenes department is Computer Aided Instruction (CAI). More than 7,000 computers, related devices and the network they run on are maintained by a CAI staff of seven. Lab managers at each school serve as the initial point of contact.  (CAI) is the meat and potatoes of a robust technology department that installs, troubleshoots, and maintains every piece of technology. These items include computers, digital phone system, overhead projectors, smart boards, servers and security systems.
HMS also employs a staff responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining plumbing, electrical, and carpentry at all of our schools. That’s in addition to a grounds crew which irrigates, mows and trims at each of the district properties. In addition to delivering hot meal carts to each school, drivers also deliver 200-300 packages a day to all of our locations.  Our in-house mail service also delivers items daily between all campuses and works with the United Way’s Koats for Kids program.
On another front, HMS is fortunate to contract our bus services with B & G Transportation and Ramirez busing.  These companies provide to-and-from services for more than 4,000 students across the district. The bus driver is typically the first and last school person a child sees during their school day.
HMS contracts with Honeywell for its heating and air conditioning needs.  Honeywell employs three full-time staff members to serve the district and has a contractual guarantee with the district to provide classroom temperatures to within two degrees of a set standard.
Finally, any administrator with common sense recognizes the importance of clerical staff. Secretaries and other clerical positions are never compensated for the diligent work they perform.  Their list of duties far exceeds their real job description. Personally, I could not function on a daily basis without Terry Lopez. She texts me when I am not where my schedule says I should be and maintains a sense of calm and professionalism in our office.
So here’s to those behind-the scenes workers who are often overlooked by students, parents and the media – but without whom our district would not function. Thanks for contributing to the success of Hobbs Municipal Schools!


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