Skip to main content


Great Learners: NVUSD’s Summer Interns
Posted 8/25/22


Earlier this month, the Napa Valley Unified School District’s Operational Services team celebrated the completion of its first summer internship program. Three NVUSD high school students worked with the Maintenance and Operations and Transportation Services departments on real-world projects including the installation of new HVAC/electrical units in schools, maintenance of equipment, and installation of a bus camera system, to name a few. According to Maintenance Director Albert DeSousa Jr., a common theme emerged over the eight-week program, that of great learners. “All our interns were great learners.”

The summer intern program was developed in collaboration with The Napa Valley Education Foundation and NVUSD’s Student Support Department and supported by Work Based Learning Specialist Amber Cleveland. Amber shared, “We were grateful to offer this amazing opportunity to our NVUSD students. This paid work-based program merged their interests with real-world experiences. This was just one more way we prepare our students to be career and college ready!” 

The student interns reported to work daily and partnered directly with NVUSD staff. Staff members helped educate the interns on different equipment types and how to use the equipment, and then provided direction and support as projects were underway. The collaborative aspect was special, shared DeSousa. “It was a great teaching opportunity all around. Usually, teaching happens in the classroom and maintenance and operations are typically in the background. This program changed that dynamic and we enjoyed the opportunity to interact with students.”

Director of Transportation Justin Binion elaborated, “Although we had work to get done each day, we wanted to understand the interests and goals of our interns so we set some goals around what our interns wanted to learn. Myron, our Transportation Services Intern, wanted to take ownership and install a camera system so he worked directly with the mechanics in our shop and ended up installing a camera system in one of our buses. Seeing him accomplish his goals, and his excitement and eagerness to learn were immensely gratifying. He was a great addition to our team.”

Myron continued, “What inspired me to set goals for myself was that I would see and hear the other bus drivers on goals they wanted to complete over the summer. I want to set goals now and when I meet those goals, I want to set new ones and then meet those!”

Beyond the on-the-job learning, instruction was also scaffolded into the program through a weekly workshop where students learned resume-building techniques, about local opportunities at colleges and trade schools, and other transferable skills directly from professionals. (For some, this work even resulted in course credit from Napa Valley College.) Both DeSousa and Binion agree that the internships were a true success, one that allowed “three great kids, great learners, to get their hands into real work.”