Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Three Wheelin’ TBE Plant Manager

Mr. Guzman and Dr. Westberry with the GoPet. PHOTO BY VAL SIMON

Mr. Guzman and Dr. Westberry with the GoPet. PHOTO BY VAL SIMON

The Plant Manager at Tommie Barfield Elementary, Gerardo Guzman, has handled the maintenance, repairs and any function related to keeping the school safe and neat for three years. Prior to that, he had 40 years business experience in the construction and real estate industry. His experience allows him to know a good idea when he sees one! So when Principal, Dr. Westberry, showed him a GoPet and said he could try it for a week, he said, “Why not?” TBE has had one ever since.

The GoPet is like a mini-Segway, but instead of two wheels, and is much easier to operate. “This three point system makes it much more stable. It can move quickly, up to 16 mph, and it turns on a dime. It’s been in use now for a little more than one and a half years,” and Guzman states, “It’s definitely the most important tool in my toolbox!”

“If there’s an emergency, I can be there within one minute. I can check the entire campus quickly, efficiently and QUIETLY!” The GoPet is battery operated and plugs into an ordinary wall outlet. One charge is good for 25 miles. The motor is located in the front wheel. “It’s the best invention since sliced bread! It’s so easy to maneuver,” said Dr. Westberry.

“This makes my job much more efficient. I can carry tools and equipment with me and can get back and forth very quickly,” said Guzman. As firm believers in the GoPet, Dr. Westberry and Guzman have mentioned the idea to other supervisors, board members and principals to see if other Plant Managers in the district would have interest. “This $1100.00 expenditure has easily paid for itself in time and efficiency. So far, the board hasn’t shown an interest. Hopefully, other Plant Managers will see how useful it is and urge their schools to try it.” In the meantime, you might spot Mr. Guzman wheeling down the halls and sidewalks of Tommie Barfield Elementary.

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