Maintenance Staff Strives for Greatness in Coaching, Mentoring, and More
By Kiersta Jones, MHS Facilities Work Order Coordinator
At the end of the day, I’m very proud to be working, coaching, and mentoring at Milton Hershey School because of the relationships with students and staff I get to build here.
I’ve worked in a couple of different areas on campus prior, and I currently work as the coordinator for Vehicle Equipment Maintenance (VEM) and Central Inventory. We’re a central point in the school for vehicle and equipment repair and inventory. There are over 500 vehicles on campus that we maintain, including student home vans, work trucks, cars, and school buses. The VEM garage also performs the maintenance on all of the lawn and farming equipment needed to maintain campus. The team I work with is great. They can handle anything in the garage and inventory.
The first thing I do when I come to work is to check my inbox for issues that may have come in overnight. I manage all of the appointments for inspections—I schedule each vehicle for two inspections a year—and the unexpected visits for mechanical issues, too. It’s a big task, but it’s very important when you think about the safety of the transportation that our staff and houseparents rely on to get students where they need to be every day.
Some of my other responsibilities include ordering the parts for the garage and making sure the parts and equipment are up to date and safe for the garage. Another aspect of my job is coordinating with Central Inventory. I ensure we have the necessary parts to make daily tasks more efficient.
I enjoy working at MHS because as an employee we get to build relationships with the students. Coaching is one way I’ve been able to connect with students, and the relationships I’ve built are phenomenal. I mentor one of the girls who was on my middle school softball team. She’s now a senior in high school, and I’m very honored to be her mentor.
I’ve also been able to make connections with students through my involvement as a bus monitor and in the Co-Pilot Mentoring program—a staff volunteer program to help new elementary students acclimate to MHS. During our last season, one eighth-grade girl on my softball team was in my Co-Pilot group when she was a second-grader. It was really neat to see her remember me, and it’s those relationships that inspire me to keep striving to help make MHS the greatest it can be.
What Milton Hershey did is something that no one will ever be able to repeat. I think he would be proud to see how the students are thriving and reaching their goals. To know I am making an impact at MHS is truly inspiring. I look forward to the future and growing with the school.