Milwaukee Public Schools - Excellence In Education Award Winner...ME
JOSEPH EDWARD DEVEREAUX (AKA - Birdstud)
Maintenance and Repair Supervisor
Division of Facilities and Maintenance Services
Joseph Edward Devereaux has been employed with Milwaukee Public Schools, in the Division of Facilities and Maintenance Services (FMS), for 20 years. Joe started his career at MPS as a Plumber, was promoted in 1994 to Plumber Foreman, and in October 2005, became the first of three maintenance & Repair Supervisors. As a Maintenance & Repair Supervisor, Joe is responsible for supervising and overseeing skilled-trades personnel and outside contractors, works with internal and external stakeholders to refine FMS process and procedures in an ongoing effort to reduce costs and improve service, administers expense budgets, and monitors performance metrics.
Joe brings 25 years of skilled-trade experience and a total-quality-management style of leadership to the team that he supervises. This combination of skill sets and expertise ensures that our district facilities remain safe, clean, and welcoming environments for students and staff.
Joe is a leader at FMS and has volunteered for many assignments above and beyond his normal duties and responsibilities, including coordinator of the MPS blood drive, the Employees’ Combined Giving Campaign, and the UPAF Campaign.
Joe recognized the need and importance of donating blood and personally began his own blood donations at age 39. In 2007, he organized the first blood drive at Facilities and Maintenance. Under his leadership, the number of individuals participating in the annual blood drive has increased by 36%. Joe’s creative flair has contributed to the success of the annual event. Over the years, Joe has invited celebrity volunteer hosts, including local pageant winners, politicians, and celebrities. While this is a serious endeavor, Joe keeps the event fun and entertaining with a new twist or surprise for participants every year.
The Milwaukee Public Schools’ Combined Giving Campaign has been extremely successful, in large part due to the efforts of Joe Devereaux. As a member of the district planning team, he has brought creativity, enthusiasm, and success to the campaign. In addition to his work on the overall yearly planning, Joe serves as a site coordinator for Facilities and Maintenance and regularly achieves one of the highest dollar totals and employee participation levels in the district for his division’s campaign.
Since Joe became the coordinator for Facilities and Maintenance, contributions have steadily increased, for a combined total contribution of $118,000 in the last nine years. It is important to note that the MPS Combined Giving Campaign is the main source of funding for the MPS Foundation and provides funding to over 200 health and human services agencies throughout the metro-Milwaukee area, many of which provide much needed services to MPS students and their families. Because of Joe’s dedication to the success of the campaign, it has finally met a longtime goal — exceeding the $400,000 mark in 2009-10. Joe’s involvement in the MPS Combined Giving Campaign has had a positive impact on many lives.
Joe became the UPAF Campaign leader in 2009, when he introduced the first FMS silent art auction. The auction was a fun way to highlight the UPAF campaign, promote involvement of FMS employees and FMS business partners, and raise additional funds for the MPS Foundation. This year, Facilities and Maintenance has invited Roosevelt Middle School to be a partner, and the silent art auction will include students’ artwork. The auction, which is open to all district employees, is another example of Joe’s ability toreach out and collaborate with schools, business partners, and individual donors.
The most recent endeavor that Joe has embarked on is creating the first chapter of a Milwaukee Optimist Club. The current focus is to gather MPS individuals for a presentation on how Optimists can naturally partner with youth in the Milwaukee Public Schools. Optimist clubs are currently using the slogan “Bringing out the best in kids.” Joe accepted the appointment to the Charter Presidency of the Metro Milwaukee Optimist Club. In this role, Joe hopes the Milwaukee Chapter will begin to partner with MPS schools at all levels.
As part of Joe’s commitment to MPS, he has also participated in:
•The MPS School-to-Work program with high-school students interested inthe field of construction;
• Multiple Career Day presentations at MPS elementary, middle, and highschools;
• MPS Math Buddies, which focuses on assisting high-school students in theclassroom;
• National Young Readers Day; and
•The Junior Achievement program for elementary-school students.
Joe’s responsibilities as a Maintenance and Repair Supervisor ensure that the students’ learning environments are safe, clean, well maintained, and conducive to learning. More important, the leadership role that Joe has taken with programs outside of his required duties and responsibilities demonstrate a strong commitment to supporting the district’s mission.
The Milwaukee Board of School Directors and the entire school community recognize Joseph Devereaux for his dedication, outstanding leadership, and commitment to excellence on behalf of the students of the Milwaukee Public Schools.
And...He Watches Birds Too!!