The Pine River-Backus School District administration commonly sing their praises for the school's custodial and maintenance staff, especially after visitors from other districts have sung those praises first. Now the man responsible, Pine River-Backus School District has been selected Facilities Management Professional of the Year throughout Minnesota.

This award by the Minnesota Educational Facilities Management Professional Association is a statewide award with its awardees selected from among the directors of every public school in the state.

“Each year MASMS awards their highest honor to a member who exhibits professionalism, leadership and service in their career and life,” a news release from MASMS said. “This award is in recognition of Mr. Flier’s contributions to MASMS, his school district, his community and his profession.”

Flier received his award Thursday, Oct. 3, at the annual MASMS conference where he was applauded by his peers in his field. In a telephone interview, Flier said the award came as a surprise. He had no indication that it was coming until he received an email from MASMS.

“(I feel) awesome I guess,” Flier said. “That's a lot of people to get picked from throughout the whole state. Every director in every school. I think it's the way I handle the building and keep the grounds and how I treat the staff.”

Flier said the award was likely made possible by how much pride his staff has for the building and grounds.

As a part of the award, MASMS is issuing a $1,000 scholarship to PR-B in Flier's name.

Flier is also current president of the Northern Chapter of MASMS.

The Minnesota Educational Facilities Management Professionals (also known as MASMS) is a professional organization committed to promoting excellence in the operation and care of educational facilities. It is a group of more than 900 individuals in the areas of facilities/grounds/health & safety/operations for Minnesota K-12 and Higher Education organizations. It is a member-oriented, problem solving, professional group committed to facilities management.