Meet Justin Zuber, the Facilities Manager who oversees maintenance at Branksome Hall. Zuber takes care of the school grounds and covers everything from mechanical to structural maintenance of Branksome’s historical campus. Zuber began his journey at the school when he was called in for a short-term contract to do some work around the campus. Although it was only supposed to be for a few weeks, the Branksome team was impressed by Zuber’s strong work ethic and asked him to come on board full time.
After being at the school for a year and a half, Justin can confidently say that his favourite part about working at Branksome is Branksome. “The environment here is incredible,” remarked Zuber, smiling. “Everyone here is so kind and caring for one another. It’s great to see everyone looking out for each other no matter what part of the school you work in.”
But not every day at Branksome runs as smoothly as one might think. Zuber reflects on the water main break of November 16, 2022, an incredibly busy day for the Facilities team. While students were likely glad for the extra day at home, it was all hands on deck for Zuber and his team. At 5:30 a.m. that day, a member of the maintenance crew discovered a large volume of water flooding the street in front of 10 Elm Avenue. Zuber got to the school quickly and went from building to building, checking for flooding or low water pressure. By 7:00 a.m., the city was called to perform their own investigation and confirmed that a water main had broken earlier that morning.
“It was a huge team effort after that. I coordinated with the Facilities team to ensure that all systems in the school, including water, heating and electricity, were either shut off or monitored closely while the city worked to get the pipe repaired. I was also in charge of sending out communications updates to the Branksome community, keeping them in the loop about what was happening on campus,” Zuber recounted. “There was a lot of running around and when the pipe was finally fixed, we had to run around again to bring systems back online, making sure everything was working as it should.” Although this was one of the most chaotic days of the year, Zuber reflects on the water main break positively and is proud of the Facilities team for the work they did that day.
Many school colleagues, including Principal Karen Jurjevich, commended Zuber for his extraordinary contributions that day. “[Y]ou [did] such a great job of keeping me updated and being on campus today to oversee the road work and water shut down,” Principal Jurjevich told Zuber.
Looking to the future, Zuber is excited about Branksome’s Innovation Centre and Studio Theatre project (iCAST), which is to become the hub for performing arts and technology at the school. His roles in the project include communicating next steps to employees and students, facilitating the maintenance team when they are needed to help out and putting up important signage to keep the community informed and safe. “It’s going to be great,” Zuber said, “Being part of the project and seeing it progress every day is just really amazing.”
Zuber recognizes how important every individual of the Branksome community is to its success, even when the contributions are not always seen by the broader community. “Whether you are a student, alum, parent or employee, you are a fundamental part of Branksome’s society. I love contributing to the future of the school and all of its students and seeing everyone grow and improve every day. I look forward to coming to work each day.”
Thank you, Justin, for all the hard work you put into making Branksome the special place it is today.