Giving Thanks: Custodial Staff Appreciation

Maddy Snyder, Staff Editor/Writer

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, there is no better time to give thanks to our school’s custodians. 

At the cue of the bell, hundreds of students step into the hallway all at once, their laughs bouncing off the walls as they walk with friends to their next class. With fast footsteps and even faster mouths, they pay no mind to the woman standing in the corner with a mop. Despite having one of the most difficult jobs in the school, custodians are barely acknowledged, much less appreciated, by most students. 

A custodian’s work starts at 7:00 a.m. but doesn’t end until after school hours, which means when most students are finishing up their homework or settling down for dinner, custodians are hard at work, cleaning the school. Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to, sanitizing and maintaining all bathrooms, taking out trash in classrooms and the cafeteria, vacuuming/cleaning all classroom and hallway floors, picking up discarded trash in the courtyard, restocking paper and soap supplies, etc. Custodian Hannah Goodrun described cleaning up after students as exhausting: “Every single thing they leave behind we’re left to pick up. That includes things like pencils, pens… I’ve found acrylic nails, I’ve found hair accessories, lip gloss… it can be stuff like water bottles or Gatorade bottles…  it makes our job harder and part of us knows that if someone drops something, they could easily just pick it up and take it with them.” 

Echoing Goodrun’s exasperation, custodian Wanda Jackson says, “I wish [people] knew that it’s really hard work and… you have to be equipped and willing to do the job… it’s harder than it looks.” 

But what’s worse is their efforts go unnoticed by most. According to Goodrun, students typically don’t acknowledge custodians: “They mostly ignore us… if they need help with something like getting into a locked classroom, we can usually help, but, usually, we’re just part of the background.” 

This holiday season, show appreciation to Zachary High’s custodians. There is no better time to give thanks to the backbones of our school.