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Jeff Foy

The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District held a special end-of-construction celebration for its new Whitley Elementary School on Tuesday.

While the district has held such celebrations in the past, this one was bigger and more special, as it allowed the district’s director of facilities planning and construction, Jeff Foy, to attend. Foy is currently battling stage-four cancer. 

“We all wanted to do something for him, since we don’t know if he’s going to be here in October when we expect to have a grand opening,” said assistant superintendent of business services Glenn Imke. “It was a very special moment for everybody that knows him.”

The celebration included a barbecue and a flag-raising ceremony, in which Foy got to raise the school flag for the first time.

Despite his diagnosis nearly four years ago, Imke said, Foy has stayed active in helping to build the school, located at 2923 McKee Road, and participating in other projects. He eventually went on leave last month.

“If you didn’t know he had cancer, you wouldn’t notice anything different,” Imke said. “In one word, he is a servant leader. He’s very selfless, he cares deeply about the kids, the campus environment. He’s not just here for a paycheck.”

Being Foy’s final school project, he will be part of a soon-to-be-painted mural at Whitley Elementary that will recognize his 20 years in education.

Foy couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Joseph Luiz can be reached at 395-7368 or by email at jluiz@bakersfield.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @JLuiz_TBC. 

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