Kurt Hoffman - Environmental Manager
Little did Kurt Huffman know that his experience working on the farm would serve him well in his career. At the time, those summer jobs on the farm were just to earn a little extra cash. He dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot.
That was a big dream for a kid growing up in Malvern, Ohio (population 1200). As Huffman toiled away on a hay farm, then a dairy farm, a corn farm and eventually a cattle farm, his sights began to set on the possibility owning his own landscaping business.
Huffman’s plans and job opportunities changed a dozen times before he landed in the Lowcountry at the Charleston County School District.
Huffman worked in a plumbing and heating supply workshop. Then he was able to land a job as an auto mechanic at a car dealership thanks to his uncle passing along the needed skills. After almost five years there he moved to Canton, OH where he met his wife Amy on a blind date in 1999.
They married in 2002 all while his career took some twists and turns, from a manufacturing warehouse to a CDL driver for Caterpillar - the farm work experience, and running heavy duty machinery paid off. All the while, in the back of his mind, was a promise he had made to Amy about moving south one day.
Huffman would have to make good on that promise sooner than he thought. A vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina ended in a nightmare of a ride home. Car trouble and traffic turned a nine hour drive into a 19 hour drive.
It didn’t take Amy long to ask him if he was ready to move yet so that they could live where they vacationed and never have to travel south again.
Huffman agreed to start looking for jobs and applied for a grounds leadership position with CCSD. Then the couple headed off for Charleston.
After four years, the position evolved and Huffman was named assistant manager. He turned the Grounds Department into a well-oiled machine. When Huffman started the grounds department he had work orders that were over a year old. Now the majority of work orders are less than a week old. The only exception is for large projects or items waiting on future funding.
During his tenure with the department, Huffman became a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) and took on the responsibilities of overseeing the district's playground installations, maintenance, and safety as well as managing the department’s employees and vendors.
Always striving to excel, Huffman also obtained his South Carolina Pesticide Applicator's license.
As part of his position, Huffman was tasked with starting the Storm Water Department from the ground up. He had the vision to manage the district's storm water infrastructure. He attended courses through Clemson University and obtained the Master Pond Manager and Certified Post-Construction PMP Inspector certifications. This equipped him and his storm water employees to implement storm water management practices, conduct routine and thorough inspections on the wet and dry ponds, and perform any necessary maintenance.
Most recently Huffman transferred to the position of Environmental Manager where he monitors and addresses indoor air quality, asbestos, lead, in-ground storage tanks, and mold remediation.
“Kids need to come to a safe, clean, and functioning environment so that they can learn comfortably,” said Huffman. “My job is to ensure that our buildings and facilities are safe in all aspects.”
”Kurt is an extremely talented individual with a phenomenal work ethic,” said Robby Waltz, CCSD’s Environmental Officer. “It has been a pleasure to work with him on projects and maintenance requirements. He has always taken pride in his work and has performed his duties well.”
While working in the Grounds Department, Huffman ensured properties were pleasing to the eye and safe for occupants. He handled fencing, security, and grounds maintenance of over 1,800 acres and 75 ponds.
“That department is highly essential in terms of securing our campuses properly, providing safe and reliable playground equipment for students, and well-manicured extra-curricular fields for our athletes,” said Huffman.
This new position is an extension of ensuring CCSD students have the best of the best.
“As a father myself, I would hope someone would see the importance in this type of work and ensure that for my kids while they’re at school,” said Huffman.
“The Environmental/Energy department is excited that Kurt has accepted becoming an addition to our family,” said Waltz. “He has really taken charge of his new role and is eager to move our department forward. We have great things to come! It has been gratifying to me to be able to witness Kurt grow as a CCSD employee.”
Huffman takes pride in being tasked to mold his new environmental management position into a high-performing department, just as he did in Grounds Maintenance.
In Huffman’s new position, a typical day is driven by issues that come in that he must respond to and remediate. Huffman, who personally responds to each claim, has a two-business day window in which to respond to a complaint, such as the smell of must in a classroom.
“This position allows me to not only serve our students, but my colleagues and the educators of CCSD,” said Huffman. “I take pride in that.”
His wife Amy is in a similar position with CCSD. She serves students and staff in the Risk Management Department, responding to and facilitating claims.
“Amy and I are both so glad we moved to the Lowcountry and joined the CCSD family,” said Huffman. “Our family in Ohio has not followed us down yet, but they do love to visit. This is our home, both in Charleston and at CCSD, and we have no regrets.”
“I never intended to work for the same employer as my husband, but CCSD was the first workplace that felt like home,” said Amy. “Before relocating, I worked at a college for nearly ten years and never realized how much I missed the close knit, educational environment.”
The Huffmans agree that working for an organization like CCSD is also a way to foster a career that you want to be in long-term.
“The district is great because it provides an opportunity for employees, like myself, to progress from the ground floor to management.” said Huffman. “I worked my way up, and after seven years, I am running an entire department. CCSD is a great place to work. You know you’re truly cared about.”
Huffman explained that the teammates he has worked with over the years are an extension of his family and he considers his co-workers his brothers.
“Kurt is such an impressive role model for our children and his coworkers,” added Amy. “He has such a strong purpose in life that hard work isn't an option for him, it's a necessity. He genuinely loves people and is always trying to exceed expectations while having a great time.”
“Kurt fits this new role as the position requires someone who is personable and can relate to issues that may be presented by students, staff, or the public,” said Waltz. “It also requires someone who follows through with assignments and assures we all have safe, healthy, pleasant, and comfortable facilities.”
For more information, contact the Office of Strategy and Communications at (843) 937-6303.