DSF Employee Spotlight
New emergency hotline (718)668-8870 for up-to-date information about school and office closings as well as other important notifications
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DSF Employee Spotlight: Richard Dieguez
Richard Dieguez started with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) in late 2019. Richard started his career with the Division of School Facilities (DSF) in Brooklyn North as an Electrical Contract Manager and played various support roles within his team. Richard has recently taken on the role of Borough Contract Manager for the Bronx division where he continues to support DSF in maintaining the highest standards of the school facilities. When he is not at work, he can be found volunteering his time to non-profit organizations or working on various construction projects. FUN FACT: Richard enjoys cooking for family and friends, particularly his wife and five children who enjoy his Latin cuisine. Additionally, he may also break out his guitar to play. Richard is Bronx native and is thrilled to be working in his home borough. Richard’s favorite part of being a member of DSF is watching major building projects come to fruition. He also enjoys the enthusiasm from both staff and students when a project is completed. We at DSF are thrilled to have such a hard working team member on our staff. Richard always goes above and beyond to ensure work is done timely and meets DSF’s high standards. Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with Rich knows that he can always be depended on, which is a wonderful and appreciated quality.
DSF Employee Spotlight: Tamiz Farooqi
Tamiz Farooqi began his career with the New York City Department of Parks And Recreation in 2001 as a Construction Project Manager (CPM). He worked for there for 12 years managing high volume construction projects. In 2013 he began working for the New York City Department of Education (DOE) as a CPM Level 2. He is currently a CPM with our Staten Island Team. He is responsible for capital projects within the borough. Tamiz holds his Universal Refrigerant License, Certified Refrigeration Machine Operators License and his Building Operator Certificate BOC-1 and BOC-2. When not hard at work, he can be found exploring state parks or gardening at home. FUN FACT: Tamiz is an avid singer and piano player. He regularly sings karaoke every chance he gets! Tamiz holds his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering. He currently lives in New Jersey, but considers New York as his second home. As a DOE CPM he received the HARRY H.MELLON AWARD of Merit from Gordian Group. Out of 7000 projects all over the United States, his project was # 1! His project was the conversion of a church into a Pre-K Center at St. Paul the Apostle. His favorite part of being a DSF employee is knowing that all boilers, chillers, etc. are running properly for all students, teachers and parents throughout the district where he works. Knowing that the people in the community have a safe and comfortable environment to learn is his greatest reward. We are honored to have Tamiz as an employee because cares so much about the community where he works.
DSF Employee Spotlight: Randolph Murphy
Randolph Murphy began his career with the New York City (NYC) Department of Education (DOE) as a data entry clerk with the Asbestos Task Force since 1992, which is now part of our Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Unit. He moved up in rank and became an Asbestos Hazard Investigator. Currently, he is a Community Coordinator with the EHS unit. When not hard at work with the EHS unit, Randy can be found playing clarinet. He studies with the Greenwich House Music School. Originally trained in classical and chamber arrangements, his musical interests range to jazz and pop. He is currently in preparation for a performance of swing and big band music. FUN FACT: Randy is a member of Dance Clarinets, a big band consisting of entirely – CLARINETS! He is also the librarian and arranger for the ensemble. Randy is currently and has always been resident of the Bronx. He is also a product of the NYC School System. Randy enjoys the fast pace of EHS and appreciates the importance of his contribution to the health and safety of well over one million staff and students. As a Community Coordinator with EHS, Randy is responsible for overseeing contractor work with regards to asbestos samples and abatement work. He also handles environmental trainings and project monitoring. Additionally, he maintains the EHS archive and handles any FOIL requests that they receive. Randy handles all of this with a quiet grace. The Director of EHS, Bernie Orlan feels that Randy is the glue that holds the unit together. Those who have had the pleasure to work with Randy know that he handles his job with ease and a smile.
DSF Employee Spotlight: Joshua McGuinness
Joshua McGuinness began his facilities career in the private sector lastly working for Group Nine Media before joining the Division of School Facilities (DSF) in 2018. He holds his Building Operator Certification – Level 1 and Universal Refrigerants License. He is currently a Deputy Director of Facilities (DDF) in the Bronx, specifically in District 7. When not busy at work he can be found coaching his daughter’s soccer team or travelling with his family. FUN FACT: Josh played competitive soccer for more than 20 years. His soccer career allowed him to travel and play in Germany, Brazil, Austria and Switzerland! Recently he was nominated into the Goshen, New York High School Hall of Fame. He is also a licensed real estate agent. Josh attended Goshen HS in upstate New York. He went on to attend Concordia College on a soccer scholarship where he received his Bachelor’s degree. He currently resides in the Upper West Side neighborhood in Manhattan. As a DDF, he supervises custodian engineers and actively manages the implementation of DSF's operational measures throughout the building portfolio of his district. During the pandemic, Josh was instrumental as the District 7 “COVID ambassador”. He worked closely with the District Community Education Council (CEC) to assure the community how safe and clean our schools remained during the height of the pandemic. Josh is proactive in all he does, which is greatly appreciated by all who get to work with him. Thank you Josh for bringing your knowledge and dedication to District 7, the Bronx and the entire DSF team!
DSF Employee Spotlight: Rajesh Shah
Rajesh (aka “Raj”) Shah joined the New York City (NYC) Department of Education (DOE) in 1988 as an Assistant Superintendent of Construction for Manhattan and Bronx school buildings. He obtained his Professional Engineer License in 1996 and became a Team Leader for the Job Order Contract program until 2001. He then was promoted to Assistant Director of Architecture and Engineering where he supervised 20+ engineers and architects providing engineering services as well as writing specifications for DOE maintenance contracts until 2005. From there he went on to head the Quality Assurance Unit where he ensured that DOE vendors and contractors provided the DOE with proper services as per specifications. From 2009 to 2013 he headed the Capital Improvement Projects unit in coordination with SCA’s project teams. Currently he is working as the unit head of the Violation Reduction/ Engineering Unit. When he is not working he can be found reading or travelling the globe. FUN FACT: Raj enjoys building team spirit at work! Raj currently resides in Wayne, New Jersey which is only 20 miles from midtown. He has his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering, his Masters of Science in Transportation Engineering, he holds a Professional Engineer license from New York State and is also a NYC Asbestos Investigator and a NYS Lead Paint Inspector. His current role has him handling all challenging engineering issues as well as emergencies throughout the city’s 1400+ school buildings. He addresses hazardous violations received at the school level. He is also responsible for 3rd party access, as well as license agreements which provide necessary technical support to ensure public safety. One of the most challenging tasks he handles is emergencies regarding exterior masonry issues. Raj has worn many hats while working at the DOE. His extensive engineering knowledge has aided countless DSF projects throughout the years. Anyone who works with Raj knows that his work style is analytical, thorough and efficient. He always carries himself with poise despite the hectic nature of the job at hand. Thank you Raj for all you do!
DSF Employee Spotlight: Melissa Hollander
Melissa Hollander began working for the Department of Education (DOE) in December of 2016 as a clerical assistant at the Division of School Facilities (DSF). She started as a temporary employee and worked hard taking various Civil Service exams until she was permanently appointed in 2019 as a Customer Information Representative with the Manhattan Team. When not busy working she can be found spending time with her husband, watching television or movies and exploring different restaurants. FUN FACT: Melissa played the alto saxophone all four years of high school! She was in competitions, a musical, and marched at football games in uniform (a very uncomfortable one!). Melissa is originally from Skokie, Illinois and currently lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She earned her Associate Degree in criminal justice from LaGuardia Community College and her bachelor Degree in criminology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. As a clerical associate for our Manhattan team, Melissa assists with custodial book outs, liaises with contractors in order to create permits and processes Manhattan’s Contractor Application for Payments (CAPS). One of the hardest things she has had to do while working at DSF is adjust to working from home. Melissa is grateful that we have returned to the office and described it as invigorating to be back. All who work with or know Melissa are aware that she is upbeat, personable and kind. She approaches work with enthusiasm and positivity, which creates such a wonderful environment for all around her. She not only accomplishes ALL the work on her plate, she does so with such gusto that she inspires others to do the same. The Manhattan Team and all of DSF are proud to call Melissa a co-worker.
DSF Employee Spotlight: Jeff Winn
Jeff Winn began working for the Department of Education (DOE), Division of School Facilities (DSF) in March of 1999 in the welding shop as a Construction Laborer. Prior to that he worked in ophthalmology wholesale. After 7 years in the DSF welding shop he was transferred to the Trucking Unit where he handles shipping and receiving, fleet operations, and administrative tasks. When he isn’t working, which lately isn’t often, he can be found fishing, watching baseball or doing some sort of DIY project. FUN FACT: Jeff is a drummer and used to perform at wedding and other functions. Jeff is a New Yorker from birth and graduated from Sheepshead Bay High School in Brooklyn. He currently lives in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. Within the trucking unit, Jeff is responsible for a wide variety of tasks that change almost daily. During the pandemic Jeff has been instrumental in arranging deliveries of PPE, testing kits and other necessary materials to ensure our schools remain safe. Sometimes he worked weeks straight with no days off to ensure these deliveries happened in a timely fashion. Jeff credits the entire trucking unit staff for ensuring that these critical deliveries happen on time. Jeff is a dedicated employee who is an excellent multitasker. He handles numerous tasks at once, all with critical deadlines and does not stop until all have been successfully completed. With Jeff overseeing these critical deliveries, DSF was assured they would occur and would occur on time. We are lucky to have Jeff as an employee and are thankful to have him as a co-worker. Thank you Jeff and thank you to the Trucking Unit.
DSF Employee Spotlight: Debra Williams
Debra Williams began working for the Division of School Facilities (DSF) over 20 years ago as an Education Analyst Trainee in the office of Strategic Planning. Currently she is the Assistant Director of DSF’s SchoolStat (SS) unit. When not hard at work; Debra can be found spending time with family and friends, exploring new recipes, visiting parks throughout the city or attending her daughter’s softball games and events. FUN FACT: Debra has held an A+ Certification and used to build computers! Debra is a born and bred New Yorker, having attended NYC Public Schools. She graduated from Hillcrest H.S. She continued her education and ultimately received her Master of Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. As the Assistant Director of SchoolStat she manages up to ten field inspectors. Recently, Debra was instrumental in upgrading the SS module to reflect a more accurate picture of the conditions of our buildings since the addition of numerous building merges throughout the years. She works closely and tirelessly with the SS lead inspector to make sure inspections are reviewed and approved in a timely and efficient manner. Debra has also been extremely helpful assisting the Special Projects Director with the PlaNYC Schoolyards to Playgrounds (STP) program and the Jointly Operated Playgrounds (JOPs) program. She is a seasoned analyst and has played a crucial role in keeping databases up to date and accurate. Debra is an amazing employee for both her work ethic and her amazing attitude which she shares with all every single day. Our Division and the entire department are lucky to have her working with us!
DSF Employee Spotlight: Paul Cohen
Paul Cohen had a long career doing business graphic arts for major investment banks before joining us at the New York City Department of Education. Currently Paul is the Division of School Facilities Clerical Associate for Team 4’s emergency desk. He began working for Brooklyn North in 2017 and in February 2019 became a fulltime city employee. Paul is a longtime lover of the arts, when not working he is often engaged in a creative design project. FUN FACT:Paul loves classic club music, and enjoys seeking out rare cuts and rediscovering the B-sides. Paul is a Native New Yorker and currently resides in Jamaica, Queens. He graduated from the High School of Fashion Industries where he majored in fashion illustration and graphic design. He is a certified medical billing and coding specialist and a certified medical administrative assistant. As DSF’s Clerical Associate with Team 4, Paul handles emergency calls for Brooklyn North. He ensures each issue is routed to the appropriate unit or division to be addressed swiftly. Team 4 and the entire DSF team are so pleased to work with Paul every day. Not only is he extraordinarily efficient ensuring that emergency situations are rectified swiftly, he is kind, friendly and always wearing a smile. It is uplifting to interact with Paul and everyone who has the pleasure to work with Paul will tell you the same. We are thankful to have Paul as a member of the School Facilities team.
DSF Employee Spotlight: Mary Tan
Mary Tan began working in her high school and college years in the areas of accounting, hiring and training employees. Throughout her years of employment she has worked for various industries including, the food industry, semi-precious stone industry, electronics industry, non-profits and finally the NYC Department of Education. During this time she has developed strong negotiation, troubleshooting and problem solving skills. Mary currently works in the Division of School Facilities, Fleet Services Unit. In her role Mary handles all DSF E-Z Pass accounts, speeding, red-light, toll by mail collections, vehicle mileage reports and Official Business affidavits for parking summons. Mary has singlehandedly streamlined our E-Z Pass processing. The new processing system automates information and allows for accurate reporting and collections of over 130 individual EZ pass tags. Mary’s supervisor is not just impressed with her work product but also her work ethic. Mary is a diligent employee who very rarely misses a day in the office. When she is not working she can be found socializing with friends. FUN FACT: Mary is an avid swimmer. Mary received her Bachelor of Science in Banking and Finance from the Far Eastern University. She holds a Financial Statement Analysis & Accounting Principal certificate from New York University and an Individual Tax Preparer certificate from H & R Block. We are honored to have Mary Tan as a member of the Division of School Facilities team. Working with her is an absolute pleasure for all. When you work with Mary there is never any doubt that the information is correct and that the work will be accomplished before any deadline. We thank you Mary for all that you do daily to keep us running.
DSF Employee Spotlight: Pantelis Natsis (Telly)
Pantelis began his career in the private sector as an electrician, working his way to becoming a Project manager for a General Contractor within the private sector on multiple School Construction Authority (SCA), New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), and Dormitory Authority - State of New York (DASNY) projects. In 2015, Telly joined the Division of School Facilities (DSF) as a Contract Manager. He was then promoted to Borough Contract Manager (BCM) and now resides as a Deputy Director of Facilities (DDF) in Manhattan. Pantelis attended and graduated from Long Island City High School. He holds a BOC 1 license, an FDNY P99 Certificate of Fitness for low pressure oil burner operator, and an A35 Certificate of Fitness license to operate and maintain air compressors. When Pantelis is not at work he is constantly fixing anything he can get his hands on. He currently lives in Whitestone, Queens NY. FUN FACT: Pantelis love to cook and BBQ and enjoys riding motorcycles. His favorite part of being a DSF employee is that it provides the means and opportunities for any individual to grow provided you put in the work. The most difficult challenge he has handled in DSF is managing the conversion of (2) separate Catholic lease sites acquired by DOE in record time and ensured that the students and staff had a safe and adequate facility to utilize. As a DDF, he supervises custodian engineers and actively manages the implementation of DSF's operational measures throughout the building portfolio. Pantelis is always willing to put in the work and go the extra mile to accomplish tasks and assist his colleagues. He is looking forward to our next cohort of interns and wants to assist and continue to create more opportunities that are beneficial to all students. We at DSF are proud to have him as an employee and thank him for his service to DSF and the City of New York.
DSF Employee Spotlight: Diane Harilal
Diane Harilal began her Department of Education (DOE) Division of School Facilities (DSF) career in 2000 as a co-op student in the Human Resources Division. She then began working in our Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) office coordinating with the School Construction Authority (SCA) and DOE for all asbestos projects throughout the city. In 2019 she became the Lead Testing Coordinator of our newly created Water Quality and Lead Compliance Unit. When she is not hard at work she can be found enjoying nature, hiking, music and delicious cuisines. FUN FACT: Diane is an animal lover, specifically dogs. She has a dog named Keto. Diane currently lives in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens. She attended Hillcrest High school and went on to get her degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. As our Lead Testing Coordinator‎ Diane coordinates lead testing for the Bronx and Queens. She is always quick to respond to inquiries and to lend a helping hand whenever needed. Her favorite part of working at DSF is helping ensure there is a safe and healthy space for students and staff alike. Diane has a quiet and calm work ethic that truly shines through in all she does. She is always willing to go the extra mile to accomplish tasks and assist her fellow employees. Staff that get the chance to work with her are lucky to work with someone as knowledgeable and kind as Diane. We at DSF are proud to have her as an employee and we thank her for her service.