Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us.” Someone who has shaped the buildings and hearts of Friendswood ISD is Director of Maintenance Jimmy Jones.
Jones has been a member of the FISD family for 17 years, mostly working in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) for 15 years before becoming the director over all maintenance tasks.
“When I was working in HVAC, if people didn’t know me, that was a good thing because that meant we were doing our job right,” Jones laughed. “Now I’m involved with all aspects of the maintenance field.”
Erich Kreiter, executive director of safety and operations, said the work Jones has done can be seen across the District.
“I don’t have to talk about the work he’s done because you can walk around and see it,” Kreiter said. “The work that’s been done in the past 18 months since we started working together is huge. There has been a total change on these campuses.”
As the humble man he is, Jones gave all of the credit to his co-workers.
“It’s the crew,” he said. “I work with some good guys with some good skills.”
Kreiter said Jimmy is a great role model for everyone in the Maintenance Department.
“Jimmy shows work ethic and loyalty,” Kreiter stated. “He’s not talking, he’s not sitting around – he’s up working all day long, nights, evenings; whatever it takes. Loyalty is huge to me, and that man always shows his loyalty.”
Loyalty and having a good work ethic are things Jones said he learned during his time in the military, serving with the Navy for six years.
“The military was a real good thing for me. I wouldn’t say it’s for everybody, but it changed my life a big deal. It straightened me out and taught me respect,” Jones said. “Being in the military and having the military mindset means being on time, saying ‘yes sir / no sir,’ chain of command and having a good work ethic.”
Even though Jones may have some calluses on his hands and a little dirt on his boots, Kreiter said he is as nice as they come.
“I know that me, [Jones] and all the other guys may seem rough around the edges – a little bit of true grit there – but we have hearts just like anyone else,” Kreiter said. “If you take the time to get to know him or anybody in our Maintenance Department, you will see they’re just like anybody else, and they’re here just trying to make a living.”
“I cannot say enough good things about him,” he said. “Jimmy is a guy you could call at two in the morning, and he’s going to come to you. He could have his last dollar bill, and he’s going to give it to you. He’s a great, Christian man. I can’t say enough about what he does in his personal life either; what he does as a father and as a husband. He’s just an all-around phenomenal guy.”
Growing up in a military family, Jones lived in California, Washington, Hawaii, Louisiana and Galveston, so when Jones met his wife, Margaret, he knew he wanted to settle down in Texas. The couple stayed in Galveston with their two children until Jones began working for FISD. His wife, Margaret, is a third-grade teacher at Windsong Intermediate and his daughter graduated from Friendswood High School.
“These schools can’t be compared to anywhere I’ve ever been. Overall, [FISD] has provided for my family,” Jones said. “It’s been a good living and it’s been a good run. This is a great place to raise your kids and just a good city.”
Just as Jones loves the city of Friendswood, the city of Friendswood loves him. As he shapes the buildings in FISD, he is also shaping thousands of kids in teaching them the meaning of hard work, respect and leading by example.