Solution Seeker Spotlight: Dan Comaduran, Facilities
Each month we feature staff members dedicated to being Solution Seekers in our district.
Dan Comaduran, plumber in our Facilities team, takes pride in keeping our school systems running smoothly every day. Collaboration with his teammates and our district custodians is one of his keys to problem-solving success.
Tell us about yourself.
I'm the plumber in Facilities for NTPS, and I've been in the trade for about ten years. I've spent a lot of that time under people's houses, repairing, remodeling, installing new construction, or cleaning drains. I have also been a school bus driver for NTPS, which felt like quite a roller coaster ride. I tip my hat to the school bus drivers, but I prefer to be a plumber!
I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area in California and still root for the 9ers (what we call the 49ers). I'm also a Saints fan; I figure that it's safer to wear a Saints hat around here than a 9er hat. At home, I play way too much Splatoon 3, and not enough guitar – my wife and son can testify to that.
What do you like best about your job?
I love the work culture here and couldn't ask for a better group of people and environment. Prioritizing my jobs is primarily up to me, and because I'm the only plumber here, I need to prioritize wisely. That responsibility can be either rewarding or daunting, depending on the day. Staying on top of plumbing systems requires a lot of work behind the scenes, but it's an important part of keeping schools open, which feels rewarding.
Our district custodians are a huge help, as they are my eyes and ears to what's happening in their buildings. A few times this year, a custodian caught a small problem before it became a major plumbing problem!
Why is being a solution seeker important to you?
It's important to me to be prompt so schools can run smoothly. That usually entails emergencies like sewage backups, faulty kitchen water heaters, etc. Please know if I don't get to your work order request right away, don't take it personally; it just means I'm putting out fires!
Identifying problems and thinking on my feet to find the solution are big parts of my job. Every day contains a surprise with different variables at play. Working safely around students, teachers, and staff also adds a challenge. But there's always a solution; sometimes, you have to think outside the box and ask for help. Some problems just need another set of eyes to find the best solution.
Can you share a story where you experience problem-solving in action?
Recently, a kitchen water heater was out at River Ridge. When I arrived, the hallway was cold, and two water heaters had no power, but the lights and outlets were on. The clue here was a possible power outage or transfer. This led to a call to our electrician and HVAC guys, Chad and Joel. Together, we identified a power transfer that affected areas of the school. It took troubleshooting from different team members (thank you Chad and Joel!) to get the power back up and running to the water heaters and the heating fans. A specific work order like this can easily turn into a bigger project, and awareness of surrounding problems can offer clues. This is just one example of the many problem-solving scenarios we encounter daily in the Facilities department.