Current Business & Job Title: Director of Facilities, Northeastern Clinton Central School District
Hometown: Rouses Point, NY
Age: 40
Education: Northeastern Clinton Central School, (NCCS) and a two-year certificate in Welding from CV-TEC. I also hold certifi cates in Underground Storage Tank Operation, Pool Operation and have a Water Operator License. All these require yearly training and renewal.
Community Involvement: Being a Director of Facilities in a school district means that hundreds of kids and their families are aff ected by what my staff and I do daily. I am also raising a family in Rouses Point and am involved in all their activities.

At a time when our world has been disrupted by a global pandemic, educational institutions have been challenged in one of our most vulnerable ways — the impact on our children. As the Director of Facilities at the Northeastern Clinton School District, Matt Arno has held the health and safety of an entire community in his hands. Having been raised in Rouses Point and now raising his own family there, Matt’s dedication to his work is more than professional, it is personal.

How do you contribute to the culture of your company?
I see myself and my staff as an important support to the NCCS School District. I create a climate of approachability and I do not micromanage. Not only do I make sure everything is clean, safe and in good working order, I pay attention to how things look. For some of our kids, school is the most important place they go every day and I want to make sure it also looks inviting.

What are you doing to make a difference in your community?
Working hard, raising my family here, and keeping commitments.

What is the single most important characteristic for success?
Not to sweat the small stuff and to appreciate the job and those you do it for.

What is your biggest professional success?
Keeping track of all the details and making sure everything is maintained properly: the four school buildings, the bus garage, the sport fields, pool, auditorium, playgrounds, parking areas, classrooms, cafeterias, offices, rest rooms, locker rooms, gymnasiums, and libraries.

What important lesson have you learned in your career?
Remembering that I am here to help the people who work and learn in the buildings. While their problems and focus may not be the same as mine, what my team and I do is important to them. Try to see things through their eyes.

What is your dream job?
This one!

How has COVID-19 impacted you professionally and personally? What are you doing differently?
There have been many new requirements for maintaining safe schools during COVID times. For example, the frequency of cleaning, desk configurations and the installation of plexiglass in offices. We have many more log books to maintain as well – and all this needs to be done with the same number of staff.

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
Buying my first rental property.

Write a note to your younger self…
Get into the investment properties business sooner.

What can the North Country do to make this region more appealing to a younger generation?
Offer more good-paying jobs.