Best’s Best: Small town, big goals

Poquoson is an independent city in Virginia, home to over 12,000 people.

In southern Virginia, Poquoson rests on the coast, looking out to stretches of glimmering water. Though the city is small, it is in close proximity to larger cities, military bases, and NASA.

Because the city is almost entirely surrounded by water, boating has been a staple in Poquoson’s economy since its inception. The coastal city has been described as a tightknit community and takes pride in its academic excellence.

As an independent city, Poquoson educates over 2,100 students across four schools in its own school system. The school system reports SAT scores that consistently outperform national averages as well as a 96 percent graduation rate—proving their small size does not curb their greatness.

“We were able to resolve maintenance situations quickly without disrupting the teachers and students,” Buddy Zember, Poquoson City Public Schools (PCPS) Maintenance Supervisor said. With classroom disruptions at a minimum, it is no surprise that Poquoson students have made a habit of surpassing goals.

Buddy Zember, photo courtesy of Larry Herman.

Maintenance personnel in school systems are often wearers of many hats. Rather than practicing one specialty area, like say, a plumber, school maintenance personnel may focus on plumbing issues in their facility one day and spend the next troubleshooting electrical failures. This is true for Zember, who says he is “responsible for plumbing,electrical ,hvac,refrigeration,lighting,controls and more.”

The school system is undergoing a modernization project, which is expected to be completed by Jan. 2023. The $20 million project is focused on renovating Poquoson Middle School, which was originally constructed in the 1930’s.

Due to declining enrollment, modernization was initially planned to include consolidation of Poquoson schools. However, research indicates that enrollment will turn around and increase in coming years and each school within the system will see updates to prepare for the next decade.

To help PCPS continue to improve, Larry Herman, a Best Plumbing Specialties sales representative, has become the “go to guy” for maintenance needs.

“Numerous times [Herman] supplied essential parts and products needed for building emergencies,” Zember said.

Introducing the vast selection of tools, chemicals, and other items from Best Plumbing Specialties is important an important part of the job to Herman. Herman says he does not want his conversations to be limited to plumbing parts simply because it is in the company’s name—there’s a whole lot more to us than that.

For Zember, special tools come to mind first when thinking of Best Plumbing Specialties. A sales representative local to your area, or a dedicated customer service representative, will help you find the items you need to get the job done or identify any of your old parts for you. Get started today by contacting

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