The crucial work of custodians

The unsung heroes of Enochs High School keep the campus clean and the students safe


Jason Campbell

Cande Monroy works on putting alcohol wipes in classrooms to help keep students and staff safe and protected.

Isabel Bocanegra, Editor

Half eaten food on the tables, spills in the hallways, broken AC units and sometimes even a student’s own spew. These were just some of the many occurrence that custodians endured on a daily basis.

Back when school was in session on campus, custodians played a big part in helping keep the area clean, safe, and functioning. They still do till this day even without students’ company.

In doing this, it provides a viable and practical learning or working environment for students and staff alike. 

Without custodians, campuses would certainly be unkempt and disordered. Their line of work is very important. 

One interesting thing about custodians is that they are capable of staying so motivated and devoted to their work no matter what situation they are called to.

Justin Crook, a head custodian with Modesto City Schools, explains what inspires him. 

“The thanks we get when we open a student’s jammed locker, fix a HVAC unit for a classroom that is not heating or get kudos on the grounds upkeep is all the motivation I need to know that we are making a difference and to keep striving to get better at what we do.” 

Crook has been working with Modesto City Schools since 2007. 

“Right now with the pandemic, we are pivoting (I told you we say this a lot) our tasks to focus around sanitation and preparing for students. Installing partitions, making directional arrows, stocking hand sanitizers, masks, cleaners, gloves and a constant focus on disinfecting or sanitizing all touch areas”, states Crook as he describes what him and his colleagues must do during this time in history, which has made their schedules much busier and continuous. 

According to the National Education Association, school custodians are considered essential frontline workers for the wellbeing of students and staff. By taking precautionary measures with sanitation and other aspects in order for there to be a safe work environment. 

It may come across that various students seem to not acknowledge the work that custodians do. Some may believe this due to the amount of rubbish some students pile up at lunch or how some students vandalize school property and such.  

Adam Almanza, a junior at Enochs High School, says, “Yes I do recognize the work they do. Trash cans were never overfilled, tables and benches were always clean.” 

When asked how different the campus would’ve been without custodians (before the pandemic), Almanza states, “Much different, people did not know how to pick up after themselves. They were animals sometimes when it came to throwing trash everywhere during lunch.”

At school or any other public area, some people refrain from throwing away their trash due to the idea that custodians do that job anyway. It can also be seen as disrespectful by others when people just selfishly leave their junk. 

Picking up after oneself can help make their job easier and keep a safe area for everyone.

Especially in this pandemic, it almost seems like everyone has to be their own custodian in their home. By keeping hands clean, sterilizing surfaces and objects, and keeping a clean area.

“A huge thank you to all of the custodian staff for their hard work!” – Judith Tamez, 11th grade.