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The Hoofprint Online

The Hoofprint Online

The Hoofprint Online

From Honduras to Zachary High

Custodians are often overlooked at school. Hear the story of one who overcame a language barrier and made a life for herself in the U.S.
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Around this time of year, most students, if not all, start to experience “burnout.” They’re exhausted from hours of homework and studying every night. They’re depressed from the cold, dreary days of winter. They’re sick of hearing about midterms, finals, and ACT prep. And they just want another break! The days start to blend together, each becoming just another countdown to the bell.

Students go through the motions of their schedules without taking time to notice the people with whom they don’t speak to regularly. Most burnt-out students forget about administrators, counselors, and even their classmates on the other side of the room. Among those who don’t receive much attention during this time of year are custodians — the people who work from before we arrive to early evening, cleaning empty classrooms, hallways, and bathrooms, but stand to the side during crowded transitions, going unnoticed by most. 

One of Zachary High’s custodians, Ms. Sara, has an incredibly inspiring but relatively unknown story, which deserves to be shared to open the eyes of the students who pass her by in the hallways every day. 

Ms. Sara is from Honduras. She lived there for 45 years — almost all her life!  

Though she can hear, read, and write most English, Ms. Sara is not entirely fluent when speaking English; therefore, she responded to questions by writing them in what English she did know. What she didn’t know, she wrote in Spanish to be translated into English (as shown in brackets). 

Ms. Sara’s life in Honduras was a joyful one.

“My house [was] very [pleasant] and [cozy]. My [childhood memories were] very [fun]… [I remember planting flowers and playing with my brothers and neighbors],” Ms. Sara said.

After 45 years of living in Honduras, Ms. Sara moved to the U.S. in October 2015 to be closer to her mother, who already lived here. 

“My experience in [the U.S.] … the beginning [was] very hard [because I had to learn another language, other laws, other customs, and there were new people].

— Ms. Sara

Learning a foreign language is no easy task. Even though two years of French or Spanish are required before graduation, very few students are fluent in either. So, imagine how difficult it is to become fluent in another language when you don’t even have a real teacher!

“I [learned English little by little by practicing, listening, and studying],” Ms. Sara said. 

Ms. Sara’s first job in the U.S. was as a maid at a hotel. However, she soon decided to quit and take an open position at Zachary High as a custodian because of the benefits provided by the school. Since becoming a custodian, Ms. Sara’s living conditions have improved, and she’s grateful for the opportunity ZHS has given her. 

“[Appreciations and messages to God for this country. I have enjoyed my work here],” Ms. Sara said. 

Ms. Sara’s experience in the U.S. hasn’t been an easy one. Her ability to overcome her struggles and learn English is inspiring. And her story is just one of hundreds of faculty and staff members. During this holiday season and custodian appreciation month, try to reach out to those around you who you wouldn’t typically notice at school. You never know who you may meet. 

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About the Contributor
Maddy Snyder, Online News Co-Editor-in Chief
Maddy Snyder (11) is co-Editor-in-Chief of The Hoofprint Online. As a freshman, she noticed the school didn't have a newspaper anymore, so in her sophomore year, she created The Hoofprint Online with the help of Alyvia Pierson and Laila Sanders. Maddy plans to grow the newspaper over the course of her high school career, creating something that will outlive her time at Zachary High. Outside of school, Maddy enjoys swimming, reading, shopping, and hanging out with her friends. She aspires to one day write as a foreign correspondent.
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