Editor's Note (The View From Here)

The Time Has Come for Us to Say 'Sayonara'

If you are old enough to remember this tune from the ‘50s, you are either retired or about to. (If you remember it from MASH, that’s cheating.) After more than 45 years in the publishing world, and nearly 20 with these magazines, it’s time for me to take another path.

I will miss many of the people I have worked with over the years in the magazines’ various offices, and I will miss working with and for you, our readers. Your dedication to improving our schools and colleges so they better serve the students, teachers, and staffs is important, commendable, and underappreciated. You have been an inspiration, and I thank you.

Who Will Replace You?

Regarding this position, I do not have that answer, but it seems providential that this was part of a discussion I had recently when I attended the NFMT conference—a gathering of the people who maintain and keep our nation’s facilities operating. The question came from Jim Zirbel, the co-director of an organization called FM Pipeline. He is concerned about the future staffing needs for facility/plant managers. His point is that we are not encouraging our students to consider this essential vocation as they prepare for their careers. His solution is a program called Facilithon, which operates through SkillsUSA. We had a short, five-minute conversation, so I cannot vouch for the program, but based on what he had to say and the research I have done, his concern is valid and this solution seems to be a good start. I think it is worth exploring. You can do that at www.fmpipeline.org.

A Final Petition

A common theme of my columns has been the decrepit state of our nation’s school buildings and the fact that they have a direct impact on student learning, student and staff health, and school finances. Currently, there is a bipartisan movement to deal with infrastructure issues. Schools need to be a priority in these discussions. If you are looking for ways to help change that, you can find some suggestions at The 21st Century School Fund’s website, www.21csf.org.

I wish you, and those who come after you, great success. Sayonara.

This article originally appeared in the School Planning & Management June 2019 issue of Spaces4Learning.