Kerman High Maintenance and Operations Team Leader awarded Employee of the Year

Jessica Harrington Image
Thursday, January 11, 2024
Kerman HS Maintenance, Ops Team Leader awarded Employee of the Year
You'll find Robert Zavala and his team working around the Kerman High School campus.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- You'll find Robert "Bobby" Zavala and his team working around the Kerman High School campus.

As the Maintenance and Operations Team Leader, it's Zavala's job to make sure the school is in tip-top shape and safe for students and staff.

"We try to make sure the day goes as smooth as possible for everybody. That's a win for us," Zavala said.

Among the rank of recognition on a school campus, what they do isn't often honored with awards.

That is until recently, when Zavala was named Employee of the year by the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.

"It was very unexpected, very humbling," Zavala said.

It may have been unexpected to Zavala, but it was well-deserved according to colleague Lyndell Hawkins.

"Bobby does a good job just trying to better everything around him," Hawkins said.

He says he's admired Zavala since first meeting him about 20 years ago.

"He was a husband, a father, a mentor, a coach -- all these things that I aspired to be," Hawkins said.

And Hawkins says people, and especially students, respond to Zavala because of his approach.

In his opinion, that's why students don't vandalize the school.

"My thought is, is when you have a group of guys led by him, and they're constantly ingratiated with the kids, the kids don't want to mess it up. They know anything they do is going to be put back on them," Hawkins said.

Whether it's waxing the floors or setting up for a basketball game, Zavala says he and his team will continue to do the best they can to better the campus.

"An award doesn't change me. I'm going to continue to be who I am, do what I do and, lord willing, I'll be doing it for another 10-15 years," Zavala said.

Students don't come back from winter break until next week, but that's not stopping Zavala and his team from making sure everything is prepared for when they return.

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