Oswego County BOCES’ (OCB) Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds (SBG), Wayne Wideman was recently elected the New York State Association for Superintendents of School Buildings and Grounds Third Vice President. Wideman, who is a Certified Director of Facilities (CDF) has held the position of SBG at OCB for over 16 years and within the Oswego County Chapter of the SBG, he has held every office from secretary, to vice-president, president and state director before running for the Third Vice-president position.
Michael Sheperd, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services at OCB said of Wideman’s election, “It is a great honor to be recognized and selected by your peers to serve in a statewide leadership capacity, and it is also a great privilege for our BOCES to have one of our own working on the leadership team for a statewide association. I am very proud of Wayne for achieving this accomplishment and have every confidence that he will provide outstanding service to NYSSBGA and to his profession in this leadership role.”
Today’s school buildings and campuses are much more complex than four walls, a roof and chalkboard, and maintaining them requires a myriad of responsibilities including engineering, architecture, health and safety, finance and human resource management. The NYS Association for Superintendents of School Buildings and Grounds was formed in 1956 to provide its members with professional development opportunities, legal advice, facilities resources, education and training and today serves as a voice for more the than 500 Directors of School Facilities, Facilities Managers, Head Custodians, Health and Safety Coordinators, and other key school facilities personnel in New York state. Seventeen chapters comprise the statewide organization with the Oswego County Chapter the only single county chapter and the smallest in New York State. Of the chapter, Wideman boasts, “We may be small, but I’m proud to say, we are one of the most functional.” Half of the current SBGs in Oswego County hold a Certified Director of Facilities credential, which requires extensive work including compiling a personal data portfolio, written and oral exams, seminars, training courses, and established leadership in their district. According to Wideman, a CDF credential is like an advanced degree in facilities management and buildings and grounds. With over 500 active school members in the state association, less than ten percent hold the CDF credential. Further proof of the small but functional Oswego County Chapter is the fact that Chris Ouderkirk, SBG in the Sandy Creek Central School District, was President of the state association two years ago.
With Wideman’s election as Third Vice-President, Oswego County and OCB not only have a voice at the decision-making table; they have a voice in the leadership at that table, which is especially important during these critical financial times in New York state. Wideman’s position will advance through the ranks each year until he serves one year as President and a final year as Past President.
His position also strengthens the BOCES perspective on the Executive Board, where he serves along with the current association president Brian Bentley who is from Greater Southern Tier BOCES.
In March, Wideman will host the first ever state-wide BOCES SBG Conference at OCM BOCES where they will meet and discuss issues that are specific to a BOCES campus, where career and tech program spaces and special education needs are unique in comparison with a typical school district campus.
Another training and educational offering coordinated locally by Wideman is the 17th Annual Oswego County Chapter of the Superintendents of Buildings and Grounds Association Personal Wellness and Trade Show Day at Mexico High School on February 23rd. The daylong event provides workshops, guest speakers, and a trade show for vendors related to the field and is held during the winter break from schools to allow personnel from area districts to attend.
On a state-wide scale, Wideman will participate in Legislative Day on March 12th where he and other association members will meet with legislators in Albany to deliver one unified message about funding for school facilities, professional advancement and stronger business relationships, but most importantly clean, safe and healthy school buildings for children. The Association was recently successful in getting legislation passed into law that established statewide qualifications for Directors of Facilities of school districts, including eligibility standards based on education, experience and other direct qualifications.