A Profile of Lisa Trayter
Passionate, Skilled, Community-Oriented Professional

Lisa Trayter

Lisa Trayter
Director of Facilities and Transportation
Yough School District

Lisa Trayter, Director of Facilities and Transportation for the Yough School District has a diverse background that uniquely qualifies her for her role. After dedicating six years to being a stay-at-home mom, Lisa was driven by her desire to become more involved in her children's education, which ultimately led her to join the school's facility and transportation department.

With a background in sales, dealing with plumbing and electrical parts, Lisa brought a wealth of knowledge about systems like pipes, valves, and boilers to her current role, making her transition seamless. Her previous experience also honed her people skills, an asset in her current position.

Lisa’s journey into facilities management began with a humble start as a sub in the school’s office, where she quickly familiarized herself with the school’s environment and its occupants. When an opportunity arose in the facility and transportation department due to retirement, Lisa was recruited to fill the position marking the beginning of her 12-year tenure in this role.

Driven by her passion for continuous learning and improvement, Lisa pursued a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Wilkes University while working full-time. She also holds a ProFM certification and is currently working towards a certification from the International Well Building Institute (IWBI), focusing on creating and certifying spaces that advance human health and well-being. IWBI training covers ten key concepts, including air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind, and community. A lifelong learner with a love for the outdoors, Lisa is studying to be a holistic health practitioner. She also teaches quantum biology at a local holistic school.

Lisa’s two biggest concerns in her district are funding and labor shortages. Because of demographics and the fact that the district is based in a rural area, revenue is another big challenge, so Lisa has had to be very creative with spending.

“We went from 25 to 20, which is a skeleton crew. Trying to keep up our level of cleaning, comfort, and safety has been interesting,” said Lisa. “But I can honestly tell you that my crew and the people we work with are living examples of resilience. I can tell you they contribute more than they criticize.”

Lisa and her team have a lot of ground to cover in their rural district, including five buildings with three elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school – totaling approximately 400,000 square feet. They also transport about 2000 kids. The district encompasses more than 70 miles. In some cases, there are 10-12 miles between buildings.

For Lisa, the greatest gratification of showing up every day for work is the human connections, interactions, and the potential for everyone to help each other – whether they’re planning special events or keeping the buildings up and running.

“The way I look at it is everyone matters,” said Lisa. “It doesn’t matter what your position is, if you're a parent, if you're the superintendent or a kindergartner. Everyone matters to me. I know I feel just personally the smallest things can make the biggest impact.” “We all have that feeling of belonging and purpose in our district,” she said. “I think that’s very important.”

For networking, additional training, and keeping on top of industry trends, Lisa is involved in Pennsylvania Association of School Business Leaders (PASBO), the Keystone Chapter of APPA (KAPPA) and the Western Pennsylvania Facility Directors Association where she serves as the treasurer.

Lisa’s dedication to her work is paralleled by her devotion to her family. As a mother of three daughters, she finds immense joy and fulfillment in motherhood, acknowledging that her daughters have taught her invaluable lessons.

“All three are unique. I’m so honored to be their mom. They’ve taught me more than I’ve probably taught them,” said Lisa.

When asked if there’s an area in her career that she’d like to improve, Lisa offered this bit of reflection.

“One of the classes I teach is called Illuminate Your Wellness, which is about how we’ve divorced ourselves from nature and our natural light environment. One thing I’d love to see in facilities management is bringing organic architecture back into our buildings, so we all have better wellness.”

In her pursuit of excellence, Lisa draws inspiration from “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, which emphasizes principles for personal freedom and empowerment. This philosophy guides her professional approach, where she fosters a collaborative approach to problem-solving. She believes in a mindset where it’s “me and you versus the problem” rather than a divisive “me versus you” approach as teamwork is essential in overcoming challenges.

As for encouraging women in pursue careers in facilities management, Lisa said, “Just jump in because, there's so much that you can bring to the table.”


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