Longtime Shaler Area employee quietly keeps district moving smoothly

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 | 12:01 AM


Unlike students and teachers, Shaler Area School District Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds John Kaib has had no break this summer.

Kaib, 53, of Reserve, said the district works hard to complete capital improvement projects that would otherwise be disruptive to the students’ school day.

Kaib said workers are replacing the roof at Shaler Area Elementary School, installing a new cooling tower at the high school and new turf on the high school’s Biles Field, repairing sidewalks at multiple buildings and repaving Paul Schweiger Way.

“The work to keep the Shaler Area School District operating is a year-round project,” said Kaib, who oversees all of the district’s facilities and a maintenance and custodial staff of 50 people.

Kaib, a 1984 Shaler Area graduate who has worked 2412 years in the district, seven as supervisor, said everyday is a new adventure with very little down time.

“I come in every morning and there is something unexpected that needs to be addressed,” Kaib said.

Shaler Area spokeswoman Bethany Baker said Kaib has responded to emergencies at all hours.

During the school year, Kaib said he and his staff are focused on day-to-day operations, including cleaning the interiors and maintaining the landscaping at all buildings as well as the mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems.

Kaib said the district is switching all outside lighting to LED and implementing other energy-savings projects.

In addition, Kaib said his department oversees the building permits and set-up for every event on district property. He said the department makes sure everything, from tables and chairs to trash cans, is set up and then cleaned up for all sporting events, Homecoming, graduation and inside and outside rental events.

“There is more and more work that needs to be accomplished with the addition of new safety codes and educational expectations,” Kaib said.

Kaib said he is in his office by 5:15 a.m. every morning to get the work orders ready for the crew members. He then makes his rounds in all the buildings, meets with contractors and sales reps for upcoming projects and addresses emergencies that come up throughout the day.

“I also am in constant communication with the administration, athletic department, activities departments, booster groups and community groups to make sure everything is set up and ready for the countless events we hold throughout the district.” said Kaib, who is married and has two daughters and a grandson.

Shaler Superintendent Sean Aiken said Kaib is a hard worker and an asset to the district.

“John lives in the community and has tremendous relationships with many employees and community members,” Aiken said.