O&M Team Grows Stronger Through Quality Leadership

There is a team of hard-working employees at CVES that is the unseen hand of the organization.

When they do their jobs, they think nothing of it. But if they did not complete their tasks, CVES operations would come to a screeching halt.

The Operations & Maintenance team at CVES is essential. Led by Director of Facilities Jerry Brooks, O&M has made countless improvements and maintained the organization’s three facilities.

Since his arrival in 2007, Brooks has formed an outstanding team of professionals committed to daily and long-term assignments.

Now slated to retire in 2025, Brooks has his sights on a strong finish.


Reflecting on his career with CVES, Brooks tipped his cap to his crew.

“We have become more of a family,” Brooks said. “I don’t think there’s anything we would not do for each other. The crew I have now loves to learn, and we support each other very well.”

O&M played an instrumental part in Phase 1 of CVES’ $29.85 million Capital Project that was completed during the 2021-2022 school year. With a project like this along with replacing roofs and boilers and updating classrooms, plenty of planning takes place.

“It’s not just one project that we are proud of because there are so many things we are doing from day to day,” Brooks said. “The Capital Project certainly stands out, though. That took planning two years in advance.”

No matter the job, O&M knows work needs to get done. While working around the clock is just what they consider part of the job, their dedication makes them unsung heroes.

“We have fun,” Building and Maintenance Mechanic Jeff Coon said. “There are days where you are working 15 or 16 hours a day, so you have to make the most of it. What I keep in mind is we are doing this work for the students at CVES. We are always maintaining a safe school.”


Brooks’ roots at CVES stem all the way back to when he was a student. From 1973 to 1975, he attended BOCES and participated in the refrigeration program, which led to his background in electric, plumbing and carpentry work.

Brooks operated his own construction business prior to arriving at CVES, and now back at CVES all these years later, one could say this is where it all began for him.

“I have been fortunate enough to build up a good crew where we can rely on each other here,” Brooks said. “You have to have the attitude that when our students arrive to school, they have to have heat, they have to have lights, and they have to have water. The school has to be ready. It’s a lot of responsibility when you have three campuses and one is an hour away in Mineville from the other two in Plattsburgh. You are depending a lot on your crew.”


As the first core belief of CVES states, “Students are our first priority.” This core belief echoes through O&M.

“Our O&M team has worked tirelessly on countless projects and initiatives for the CV-TEC Division,” Director of Career and Technical Education Michele Friedman said. “Team CV-TEC is extraordinarily appreciative and grateful for all the upgrades, installations, repairs, and moves both inside and outside of our campuses. Our O&M Team is truly top notch.”

There are even times when CV-TEC students work with the O&M team and provide a helping hand during the school year, especially students participating in electrical and construction programs.

Last summer, Brooks noticed the talents of two first-year electrical students and ended up having them help O&M for part of the summer. They installed LED lights throughout the CVES Plattsburgh Campus.

“That was the first time I ever did that,” Brooks said. “I was a little skeptical about it, but it was fantastic.”


Brooks originally planned to retire at the end of the 2023-2024 school year, but with Phase II of the CVES Capital Project coming up, he decided staying one more year would be best.

“Our O&M team is innovative and does anything to make a positive impact on students,” Assistant Superintendent of Management Services Eric Bell said. “They have pride in their work and endless commitment to the organization. With the leadership Jerry has provided, our team goes above and beyond working around the clock at a highly professional level.”

Some tasks completed by the CVES O&M team in Brooks’ tenure would have required Capital Projects, but through collaboration with his team and budgetary work, daunting tasks were simplified with innovative thinking.

While Brooks will eventually retire, he leaves a lasting legacy that O&M will certainly continue for years to come.

“Jerry is the best boss anyone could ask for,” Coon said. “He leads by example, and he is respected. When we show up to work, we know we have him supporting us in our efforts from day to day. We are definitely going to miss him when he retires.”


Read more 2023-2024 Success Stories here.