Phillip Baladez | manager, Mechanical Maintenance
"I thrive on challenges,” says Phillip Baladez. “One of our biggest is creating the atmosphere in which learning takes place. And doing it without anyone even knowing we’re there.”
As manager of the district’s mechanical maintenance department, one of Phillip’s responsibilities is to ensure a comfortable classroom environment. “It’s no fun for our teachers to have to work – and students to try to learn – in an 85-degree room when it’s 105 outside,” he says. “I take that stuff pretty seriously."
The district used to hire an outside company to work on its chillers: massive machines, each costing well over $100,000, designed to cool large commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities – like schools. “When I realized what it was costing to hire these jobs out,” says Phillip, “I thought, man, if I could figure out how to work on them myself, I could save the district thousands of dollars. So I started reading and learning. Now we do almost all of it in-house."
For Phillip, it’s part of what he loves about his job: putting money back into the operating budget. “I just want to continue to better myself,” he says, “then pass that down to my guys – so that, every day, we can work together to make the district a better place."