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Facilities Operations Manager sets an example
Facilities Operations Manager sets example for students
Posted on 01/16/2018
Facilities Operations Manager sets example for students

It doesn’t take long to notice the impact Facility Operations Manager Ruvim Khomchuk has on students at Puyallup High School. As he walks by while they are eating lunch they smile and wave at him — you can tell they are friendly and respectful to him.

And that respect goes both ways.

Khomchuk says he notices a difference in students as they advance from sophomores to juniors and they get to know him better. “The students are great – as sophomores you work with them and treat them with respect. Then, when they are juniors, they show you more respect. They see that you are working to keep the school clean and keep them safe, and they help you. They clean up after themselves.”

Khomchuk was promoted to Facility Operations Manager last March. Prior to that he worked at Wildwood Elementary, Ferrucci Junior High, and then was the Assistant Facilities Operations Manager at Puyallup High.

Puyallup studentsHis day begins at 6 a.m. as he anticipates the arrival of more than 1,825 students and almost 150 staff members.

With a staff of six people who mostly work the evening shift, Khomchuk says he enjoys the challenge of working at a large, three-story high school. “There’s no time that goes to waste – we are busy and time goes by fast. The school is spread out and we cover from one end to the other.”

A typical day involves completing regular tasks and responding to issues that come up. He must constantly check his email and listen on the radio in order to respond to immediate needs such as spills, heating problems, and any other issues that arise.

Regular tasks begin with checking school operations, including fire systems, lighting, heating and building and grounds security. If anything needs to be fixed or problems are identified it is his job to collaborate and make sure they are taken care of. Khomchuk and his staff clean the school, gymnasium, pool, shop, library, and portables daily. They also re-finish floors, extract carpets and change HVAC filters among other tasks.

Ruvim KhomchukOperations Director Bryson Bickler said Khomchuk does a great job maintaining a large and aging school. “From the Operations side, he is there alone for six hours doing everything from security, turning all lights on, responding to emergencies, and making sure things run smoothly – starting the day and then keeping it going for nearly 2,000 teachers and the students.”

As the Facilities Operations Manager, Khomchuk plays a role in school security and customer relations. “There’s no fence here and every time I go outside I am checking for security – kids or anyone near the school. If there is someone new, we make contact and greet them. We have to make contact because school is open. We offer to help and we do it politely — the right way,” he said.

Khomchuk said he appreciates working with the staff at Puyallup High and the Operations Department.  “I’m really happy to work for the district and I am happy that they hired me five years ago. We have great directors and management – they have taken care of us. I’m just happy to be here.

“I think the students learn a lot from him about work ethic and humility. He will do anything he is asked with a smile on his face. He’s another educator and great role model for our students.”
Director of Operations, Bryson Bickler.

Nancy French
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