NTFSA, an affiliate of TASBO, connects people for the purpose of sharing ideas to strengthen the M & O divisions of the schools of North Texas in an effort to provide a positive, high-quality learning environment.
The North Texas Facility Services Association (NTFSA) formerly NTMOA began in 1968, born out of necessity. One of the original founders, Paul Barger, who in 1967 had recently taken the position of Director of Maintenance for the Irving Independent School District, had in his words, “a lot of questions and not enough answers” to the problems that beset the management of school buildings each day. In search of answers, Paul contacted directors of other districts to gather answers to his questions he was encountering. In the spring of 1968, Paul contacted a number of directors for a meeting in his office of what is remembered to be the first unofficial meeting of the NTFSA. Among those invited were Paul Booher of Arlington ISD, Kurt Drew of Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Dick Musgrave of Dallas ISD, Tom Kupper of Lewisville ISD, Joe Walker of Mesquite ISD, Charles Wages of HEB ISD and a gentleman from McKinney ISD, whose name escapes the recall of the contributors*, but was remembered for his refrigeration expertise, which was emerging as new technology for schools at the time.
The first meeting held no formal agenda. Common issues were brainstormed, known solutions shared and ideas debated. At the close of the meeting, it was collectively agreed that the time the group shared together was worthwhile and from that, NTMOA was born. For the first year, the group met in the offices of Irving ISD, enjoying lunch and conversation over similar issues they faced in their districts. After that year, others took on the responsibility of hosting the meetings. Soon others came from districts like Grand Prairie, Duncanville, Garland, Richardson and Plano. The association grew and still others joined from as far away as 150 mile radius from places like Greenville, Mt. Pleasant, Corsicana, Waxahachie, Bowie and Weatherford.
The group had a few sport fishermen and the others liked to eat, so a fish fry seemed in order. The event proved so successful that it was subsequently made an annual event. For some whose distance was so far, this special event made it well worth the effort and time to travel. Paul Barger hosted the first events and later, Bob Hunnicutt of Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD continued the tradition while there and last served the fish fry at Birdville ISD in 2005. The annual fish fry was the best attended annual meeting.
In 1970, the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) approached NTMOA leaders and invited them to become TASBO’s first affiliate association. Gilbert Bernstein, who at the time was with TASBO, developed the certification training for maintenance officials at TASBO.
TASBO’s endorsement of the association spurred new growth and the Association went through a series of positive changes to accommodate the growth. In the mid 1970’s through the early 1980’s, the Association grew well past the practicality of making telephone calls inviting people to attend. Officers were elected, by-laws and a constitution were adopted and meeting dues were established, taking the place of the Dutch Treat lunch system. The third Thursday of the month was determined to be the optimal meeting day.
Near the end of the 1980’s, vendor membership was made part of the Association. Vendor-sponsored luncheons were introduced, relieving much of the financial burden from the districts and allowing the vendors to promote their industry while at the same time providing valuable information to the facility managers of the school districts. Many districts continued to host the meetings.
The 1990’s brought about many new members and more changes. Many districts began employee recognition programs and districts celebrated their valued employees at the meetings. Specific “hot topics” became the focus of each monthly meeting. The formal TASBO-initiation of officers was introduced, the by-laws and constitution documents were updated, the annual TASBO scholarship donation was established, the annual June golf tournament was initiated, the annual vendor fair was started in Birdville ISD and the Honorary Member membership status, giving lifetime membership to the Association’s past distinguished members was implemented.
The Association’s participation in TASBO has made it one of the largest affiliates in the organization and has elevated its membership to a highly respected place among the school business leaders of our state. Our meetings are attended by a wide variety of school employees including assistant superintendents, executive directors, directors, supervisors, department heads, managers, craftsmen, custodians and many dedicated vendors. What began as one man’s idea for networking has evolved into an association of dedicated professionals working together to provide accurate operations information, sharing professional best practices and promoting the highest quality of service to the school districts of North Texas.