Jim Debell has been in the maintenance business for 15 years; ten of those years have been spent at BFUHS. Jim enjoys the the job because he likes working around students and seeing how far they go in life, and what they go on to do.
I asked Jim if there were any changes to his work this year. His response was that “there was nothing different this year from previous years”. There are changes from season to season, however. These changes include: cleaning off the fields, so that the teams can use them. For example, Jim redraws the lines on the football field every year. One nice touch Jim also adds to the playing fields is a big purple and white BF painted onto the grass. He does this to “try and make the teams happy” and we all appreciate this special touch.
Jim is joined by Shawn Burke as grounds manager. Jim says that “Shawn takes care of the 20 acres by himself. He puts so much pride into his work and keeps everything looking great.” Shawn can often be seen sitting atop one of his many rigs on most days. In the attached photo he took time from his busy schedule with the baseball field to pose for the BF fans with one of his toys.
Jim, Shawn and the rest of the maintenance team, are always extremely busy. They take their job very seriously. Setting up an interview took some time, and his schedule was very full, because he always has something he has to do. I am thankful that he found the time the talk to me, and allowed me to ask some questions to better understand one of the school’s most difficult jobs, and some of the busiest people that we students sometimes take for granted.
In order to help Jim out, we students should do our part to help keep the building and grounds as clean as possible. As Jim himself said, “We have a beautiful place here, let’s all keep it clean and take care of it”.