Devens Named Director of Buildings & Grounds

Robert Devens

Robert Devens is the new JCSD Director of Buildings & Grounds.

A new face will join the Johnston Community School District administrative team in late March.

Robert Devens has been hired as the district’s Director of Buildings and Grounds. A long-time Johnston resident, he joins the district after serving in the Iowa Air National Guard as a Base Civil Engineer Squadron Commander.

As the Director of Buildings & Grounds, Devens will oversee the upkeep and maintenance of all district facilities, managing the 50-member team of custodians, groundskeepers, and other buildings & grounds staff. He will also be a member of the district’s administrative team, where he will work closely with district and building administrators to ensure projects are being run efficiently, COVID safety protocol is being followed, and any new initiatives are appropriately planned.

“I’ve served my country and state for many years,” Devens said. “Now, I have the opportunity of a lifetime to serve in the community where I live and the school district my children attend. This is a very exciting step for my family and I.”

A few of his essential responsibilities will include keeping buildings up to code and in compliance with local and state guidelines; overseeing all Capital Improvement Projects and construction projects in the district; and managing the department budget, along with inventory, bid process and ordering of all custodial and grounds supplies. While Devens is new to the education sector, his previous careers have provided him robust experience for this role.

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Devens joining the Johnston Community School District,” said Superintendent Laura Kacer. “He brings many years of experience in leadership with diverse employees, business management, construction management, and risk mitigation to Johnston. His passions for optimizing team performance and customer service will be put to good use in our school district.”

Devens has been a member of the Air National Guard for 18 years, serving in various parts of the United States in roles from Hurricane Katrina support to managing high-level air base development and operations. Devens also spent 17 years in the private sector, working in Human Resources, project management, and software engineering. His career has truly taken him across all aspects of business operations, employee management, and physical property maintenance.

Devens holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and a Masters of Administrative Sciences in Management Information Systems.