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"This Is Parkway" Digital Magazine


News & Notes

Tim Madden Joins Facilities

Tim Madden, Facilities new Lead Construction Supervisor

The Facilities Division welcomes Tim Madden to their team as the new Lead Construction Supervisor upon the upcoming retirement of Mike Tate.  Tim, originally from Kirkwood, resides in Manchester with his wife, Kim, also a Parkway employee. They have two sons, Sean, a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and Brett, who will graduate from SEMO in May. Both boys attended and graduated from Parkway South High.

Tim, a Civil Engineer, has a background of extensive practical experience in all aspects of commercial construction trade and management. He has worked in the construction field since 1979 and has held positions as Project Manager/Estimator, Senior Estimator, Manager of Preconstruction and Construction Services, Preconstruction Director, and has served as Vice President of McCarthy Building Company in St. Louis.
Please help us welcome Tim to Facilities and to Parkway.

Central High Baseball and Softball Batting Cages

Beginning of Installation End of Installation
Central High School has recently had three new batting cage stalls added to its campus. Over 85 yards of concrete, 18 posts and more than 1,000 feet of 1/16” cable were installed to ensure a safe environment for both teams to practice year round. This project was a joint effort of the Facilities’ Grounds Department who did all of the work and the baseball and softball teams who purchased the net.


Facilities Reduces Costs











The chart shown above represents Facilities’ contractor expenses from the 2002-2003 school year through the 2010-2011 school year. Facilities uses service contracts for large, overflow and emergency repairs.
The highest contractor expenditures were incurred during 2002-2003 with a total of $1,364,462; however, the following year, 2003-2004, Facilities started a downward trend of reducing those costs with a savings of $195,940. The downward trend continued in 2004-2005 school year when we saw significantly lower expenses totaling only $720,939. Facilities was able to hold expenses down for the next five years, 2005-2006 through 2009-2010, and hit a plateau with expenses averaging approximately $750,493. 
The plateau was broken during 2010-2011 with contractor expenses totaling $524,604, another $200,819 reduction. 
Over the past eight years, Facilities has consistently reduced vendor blanket expenses by 61%. This has been accomplished by continually looking for better, more innovative ways to reduce expenses. More importantly, these cost reductions were made while, at the same time, Maintenance and Grounds staff was being reduced.

Cleanest School Program

Yvette Robinson at Shenandoah Valley
Central High School
In January 2012, the Facilities Division’s Custodial Department will kick-off its first annual Cleanest School Program competition which will give the custodial staff of each building the opportunity to make their building the big winner. Members of an Inspection Team will visit each building and perform a “white glove / black pants” inspection of the entire building including the front entrances, hallways, classrooms, cafeteria areas, restrooms, gymnasiums, custodial offices and custodial closets. 
On a grading system of one to five (with 5 = Excellent, 4 = Good, 3 = Fair, 2 = Needs Improvement, 1 = Unacceptable), the inspection team will choose three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school as runner’s up for the Grand Prize. Each runner up building will receive an award plaque and the Overall Winner will be awarded a traveling trophy which will be passed on from year to year to future Overall Winners.
Good luck to all of you!

Highcroft’s Outdoor Reading Garden

Area before transformation
Area after transformation
The Parkway Grounds crew worked to make significant improvements to some of the landscaping around the district. They decided to take this dark and dank area at Highcroft Elementary and transform  it into a usable space. With their knowledge and expertise, the crew turned the unattractive, unusable and messy area into what will be a beautiful reading garden. The crew removed what landscaping was there, grated the entire area down and laid pebble rock and added seating. When the weather is right, the crew will add landscaping plants to make the area more attractive and enjoyable for Highcroft’s students and staff.

We've Come a Long Way . . .

Warehouse employee, Roy Brethauer,

unloading computers


Computers waiting for deployment








We have come a long way in just a few decades, especially in the field of technology. If you had a hand-held Texas Instrument calculator that would add, subtract, multiply and divide as little as 40 years ago, you would have been on the cutting edge of technology. Technology drives today’s world and computers provide the world’s knowledge at your fingertips, can accumulate information and compute results in a matter of seconds. Regardless of what line of work you pursue, you’d better know how to operate a computer because chances are about 100% that you will be using one to complete your daily tasks. They are an essential part of nearly everyone’s life.

Parkway School District and its Technology Department are doing a great job keeping our classrooms equipped with the latest technology. Approximately 8,000 computers have arrived at Parkway’s Warehouse this year for distribution throughout the district. 

Do you ever wonder how such orders reach their destinations? As they arrive at Parkway’s Warehouse, they are separated by purchase order number and counted to make sure the complete order was received. They are then separated according to their destination and held until the school is ready to receive their shipment. At that time, the computers are delivered to the schools.

Warehouse employees handle shipments several times before they reach their final destination, and they are especially pleased to be part of the overall effort that keeps Parkway students on the cutting edge of today’s technology and helps them become capable, curious and confident learners ready to tackle whatever the world has to offer.


Parkway's Annual Surplus Equipment Auction


Five years ago, the Warehouse Department started a program for storing items that are in excellent condition but no longer needed and redistributing them to other district buildings in need of such items.  The list of surplus property is long and includes items such as appliances, AV equipment, computers, printers, furniture, musical instruments, grounds equipment, tools, etc.  For more information and to request items for district use, employees can visit Inside Parkway to view the list, including descriptions and photos.  This program has been a very successful endeavor and saves the district on average over $100,000.00 a year.

In addition to the savings from redistributing surplus items, the Warehouse also holds an annual Surplus Property public auction each summer where they sell items that are not in good enough condition to be redistributed within the district.  The collection and organization of surplus items begins the first day after the school year ends and continues almost up to the day of the sale in mid-July and is a major undertaking.  The employees involved in this process do an amazing job each year to make sure it’s a success.  All leftover items after the auction are declared as “no value” and are recycled, if possible, or are trashed depending on the item’s composition.  This year’s Surplus Property auction resulted in just over $13,000.00 that goes into Parkway’s general fund.


Child Ident Program

Officer fingerprinting child at Shape Up Parkway event

In a continuing partnership, Parkway Schools' SRO’s (School Resource Officers) participated with the Saint Louis County Police Department in the "Child Ident" program as part of the 2011 Shape Up Parkway event that was held at West High earlier this year.

Officers Minnini, SRO at Fern Ridge, Steinmeyer, SRO for the north area elementary schools, and White, North High’s SRO, helped fingerprint children for identification purposes. They also offered parents information on helping to identify their children in the event of an emergency and information on keeping their kids safe on the internet, at school, and when out in the community.

School Resource Officers’ days do not end at the dismissal bell or on a Friday afternoon.  They continue to provide a connection after school hours and on the weekends by fostering a long-lasting relationship between the schools, community, and law enforcement organizations in the area through school and community events.


Parkway's Annual Book Sale

The 2011 annual Book Sale was held at Highcroft Elementary on June 17 & 18. The Warehouse Department collected an estimated 80,000 books including everything from textbooks to library books from all 28 Parkway schools. Preparation for this annual event is a year-long process with about half of the books being collected during the school year and stored in the Warehouse. These books are then added to those collected within two and a half weeks after the school year ends when all of the books are moved to the sale site, organized and displayed with the titles visible as customers walk through the aisles.  All books were priced at $.50 each. Parkway advertises the Book Sale through various methods such as their Facebook account, the internet site called "The Patch," school newsletters, pamphlets handed out at various locations, email chains, Inside Parkway, and public service radio announcements. Books that are not sold during the public sale are sold by the ton to a book vendor. Parkway’s average total receipts for this year’s book sale are approximately $6,500.00.


Facilities Annual Awards Presentation

2011 Facilities Group

On July 15, the Facilities Division held its Annual Awards Presentation & Picnic at Southwest Middle where Dr. Keith Marty, Superintendent, Mark Stockwell, CFO, and Dr. Joy Torgerson, Director of Human Resources, received a warm welcome from approximately 275 Facilities employees. Mike Mertens, Director of Facilities, discussed the divisions’ major focus for the coming year, “World Class Customer Service” or “benefacta optima” which is Latin for excellent services.   Bene-O is Facilities’ new rallying cry that supports the division’s Vision Statement. We are all about excellent customer service and teamwork. With the assistance of his managers and supervisors, Mike then proceeded to the Recognitions and Awards portion of the program. Fifty-four Facilities’ employees were recognized for their years of service to Parkway, including two who hit their 30-year milestone with the district. Mike also recognized 7 employees who retired on June 30, 19 new employees who joined the division during 2010-2011, and 30 employees who attained “perfect attendance.” Juliette Travous presented Safety Awards to two Facilities employees for their help to the Environmental Services Department. The final awards presented were the Director’s Awards. Nineteen employees received a Director’s Award which is a very special recognition based on recommendations from their supervisors for “going the extra mile” and providing exceptional service. With all recognitions made and awards presented, everyone enjoyed a fantastic lunch before returning to their daily duties.


More Innovative Changes to District’s Fields

The Grounds Department is in the process of adding Diamond Pro, a new infield conditioner made of red vitrified clay, to all baseball and softball field skinned areas.  The product was first used this past Fall with the construction of the new softball fields at WHS and NHS.  The Grounds Department was so impressed with how fast a field can be readied after a heavy rain that they decided to add the conditioner to the rest of the district’s softball and baseball fields.  To date, Diamond Pro has been applied to CHS, NHS and WHS softball fields and CHS’s baseball field and will be added to NHS’s baseball field this Fall.


Innovative Changes to Baseball and Softball Fields


The Facilities’ Grounds Department has been working to improve the condition of the district’s baseball and softball fields, particularly the skinned areas. The installation of irrigation for these areas will save coaches and grounds personnel time and the district money in reduced water consumption. The flip of a switch eliminates the process of hosing down a field’s entire skinned area. The irrigation system was installed at North, West and South High Schools in the fall of 2010 and the process is targeted for completion with installation at Central High in the summer of 2011.


Maintenance Expands into Food Services

Facilities’ Maintenance Department will soon assume the role of providing maintenance and repairs to all of Food Service’s equipment. A soft transition will begin in April 2011 while Julio is still on board to provide records and answers to questions regarding existing equipment including, but not limited to, coolers, cook tops, exhaust hoods, dishwashers, mixers, fryers, etc. with the permanent transition complete by July 1, 2011.


South Middle - VAV Installed by Parkway Technicians


A new VAV (variable air volume) system has recently been installed at South Middle School to address humidity and air quality issues they have experienced in the 1900 wing. This new system provides heat, ventilation, and air conditioning to the entire wing. The installation process of the new system included nine new VAV boxes to replace the old Trane damper system, a new ACES control for the roof top unit, a frequency drive on the air supply fan, and all new ceiling tiles. With the new VAV system, Maintenance can now see the temperature and humidity level in each room in the 1900 wing as well as the return air and supply air quality. It also provides historical monitoring of the unit for future reference. Hats off to our HVAC Technicians for getting this completed over Spring Break and in record time!

Keeping Traxx Innovative Changes for Grounds

The Grounds Department will implement a new monitoring system for salt applications beginning next winter (2011-2012). This new system from SnowEx will allow each of the department’s salt trucks to keep track of the amount of salt applied to our drives and parking lots. The new system will be installed in two of the department’s trucks this fall, and eventually in all Grounds trucks equipped with a salt spreader.

SnowEx’s new Salt-Traxx system is an innovative digital job tracking device that works with select models of V-Maxx spreaders. It plugs into the spreader’s existing controller and records useful jobsite data such as the amount of salt used and time spent on the job. This information is saved to a standard removable USB memory stick that allows us to upload all the data to a personal computer in a format compatible with Microsoft Excel.

With the Salt-Traxx system, the Grounds Department can closely monitor salt usage and inventory, costs, evaluate their operations, and create better documentation for billing and reporting purposes.


New Chiller at Early Childhood

Parkway Facilities’ Maintenance Department recently installed a state-of-the-art chiller at Early Childhood Center.

Why go state-of-the-art? This chiller uses a Danfoss Turbocor oil-free compressor that is capable of achieving the highest overall efficiencies for water-cooled HVAC applications. It operates without oil by using magnetic bearings which eliminate friction between moving parts, increases efficiency, reduces maintenance costs, and extends the life of the chiller. This new chiller also uses a frequency drive to run the compressor which gives the unit the ability to self-adjust to match the demands of the building and eliminates the start up delays experienced when a unit goes down.

Another huge benefit to installing this chiller is the economical aspect. It needs only 2 amps of power to start verses the 500 amps required by a traditional chiller. The district has already seen significant energy savings in the one summer this unit has been operational.

Smart Board Installations

Did you know that from June 2008 to the end of December 2010, 666 Smart Boards have been installed throughout the district and the goal is to have a Smart Board installed in every classroom by the end of 2011?

The installation of each Smart Board has been coordinated by Mark Tesreau, Construction Supervisor, with a team including the Facilities Carpentry Department, Tom Swoboda, Instructional Technology Coordinator, the Technology Department, Lance Gibler, Asbestos Specialist from Environmental Services and the contractor, Schiller’s Audio-Visual.

The Smart Board project was extended to include the installation of white boards and bulletin boards at the same time.

The process of installing Smart Boards begins with an inspection of the classroom. Each room must be inspected to first determine the ideal location for the boards, then if electrical or data outlets, an abatement process, painting, and/or carpentry work are needed in order to accommodate the new boards. At times, the district’s plumbers and painters are also utilized in order to complete an installation. The entire process from start to finish can average approximately 24 man hours per installation and this doesn’t include the time of school employees who must prepare the room by making sure all items and/or furniture are moved away from the walls.

Mark Tesreau has done an outstanding job coordinating all of the players and materials needed for these installation projects and, if all goes well, Smart Boards will be installed in every district classroom ahead of schedule.

A very special thanks is due to Debbie Beelek, district carpenter, for personally overseeing every Smart Board installation and helping to make sure the job is done according to plan and for going the extra mile to get the job done right when things get a little out of sync.


Director's Award Goes to Della Turner Head Custodian at Barretts Elementary

Mike Mertens, Director of Facilities, recently received an email from Della’s supervisor, Darin Varble, praising her for the care and pride she takes in her work and for “going above and beyond” for her school and to help all the district schools. Darin wrote that Della will go to any school to do any job, often without being asked; she is “proactive not reactive to many situations.” Della war also praised for her willingness to “listen and try new ways … will give her honest feedback on them whether … good or bad” and for tackling any assignment with a very positive attitude.

Della was awarded a Director’s Award at the Head Custodian meeting on January 27, 2011. This award is presented to individuals in recognition of exemplary service to Facilities and the district.

We are very fortunate to have Della on board. She is an excellent example of what we like to see in our employees – honesty, integrity, politeness, proactive actions, and a real team player.

Congratulations, Della!

Kay Chesser Receives Director's Award

Kay Chesser, Financial Analyst, recently received the Director’s Award from Parkway’s Director of Facilities, Mike Mertens. This award is presented to individuals in recognition of exemplary service and, while it is usually presented to Facilities employees, Kay is one of only two recipients outside the Facilities Division to be acknowledged with a Director’s Award.

Kay is always a great help to us in the Facilities Division with any budget issues but has gone ‘above and beyond’ during the past two to three months assisting the team with the MUNIS transition. Anyone needing help with MUNIS just has to ask and Kay is right there. “She accepts the interruptions with grace and an eager to help attitude.”

We are very fortunate to have Kay and her invaluable assistance available to us. Thank you, Kay, and CONGRATULATIONS!

District Wide Electrical Systems Upgrade for Technology

The Facilities Division electricians have been working on upgrading the electrical systems across the district for the Technology Department. This three part project involves replacing some of the electrical breaker panels and adding surge protection in most of the district’s school buildings. In addition to installing new panels an