When Midtown reopened this year, it was essential to keep the school clean due to the ongoing threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. To do so, the custodial staff has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the school as clean and safe as possible for the students.
“When we made the decision to return to in-person learning this year, we knew that we would have to solve a bunch of problems on how to keep the school clean and disinfected,” Dr. Bockman said. “The custodial staff have been an immense help in this task. They are always working tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that our school is safe for students, and are a main factor in our Covid numbers in school being so low.”
Administrators are thankful for the dedication and hard work the custodial staff have shown in fighting Covid at the school this year.
“They (custodial staff) have had to deal with a lot this year with Covid, and they have done wonderfully,” Vincent said. “I, and all of the other administrators are extremely grateful for the work they do in keeping this school clean and safe. Covid has been hard on all of us, but they have really persevered.”
Aside from Covid, the custodial staff has also had to deal with issues such as the “Devious Licks” TikTok trend, which consisted of students stealing items from around the school, such as soap dispensers and smoke alarms.
“Kids steal things all the time, especially during Devious Licks,’’ Midtown custodian Frankie Jones said. “Some bathrooms such as the Boys E100 bathroom never have soap dispensers. Every time I have gone and replaced something, it has disappeared again hours later. The TikTok trends just make our jobs a lot harder, and add to our work load.”
Just like in the cafeteria, the behavior of the students has been a big difference in the custodial staff’s lives this year
“The students have been really messy this year, and some days are worse than others,” Jones said. “ Kids are just being kids. They leave their trash or other food waste out in the cafeteria, and we have also seen a lot of graffiti in the bathrooms. I don’t think they realize that it is us (custodians) who have to come behind and pick or clean this stuff up.”
Students feel the same way about their classmates’ behavior.
“The work of the custodial staff is great, especially after the lunches, but really all over school,” Silva said. “I am thankful that they are here mainly because some people don’t know how to clean up after themselves. We have a really nice school, and the custodians help keep it that way, regardless of some people’s irresponsible behavior.”
Starting this year, aside from cleaning the main two buildings, the custodial staff also had to add the new A-wing to their already busy schedule.
“When we decided to add the A-wing to the school, we knew it would be a massive undertaking, and that we would need the dedication of the custodial staff to keep it clean,” Dr. Bockman said. “They have been awesome, and have made the building look like new even now, months later. A lot has been on their plate from ‘Devious Licks’ to their normal duties, and they have added the new building into their schedule seamlessly.”
Students also appreciate the work that the custodial staff does in keeping the A-Wing clean.
“The A-Wing is insanely clean, and much of that should be attributed to the custodial staff,” Loesel said. “The custodial staff is one of those behind the scenes things that we never fully appreciate, and I am extremely thankful for everything they do for our school.”
Administrators are grateful for all that the custodial staff does.
“All of our support staff, including our custodial staff, are the real heroes in this school,” Vincent said. “They do so much in making sure that we have the best environment in this school, and are a crucial part of what we stand for. I really just want to say thank you to all of them, and look forward to what we do in the future.”
As Midtown continues into an unknown future, the role of the support staff will only become increasingly important to the school’s everyday functioning.
“As important as our support staff is to the school now, they will become increasingly important in the future,” Dr. Bockman said. “We are still living in uncertain times, and their (support staff) adaptability and hard work will be essential to how we become the best version of ourselves in the future.”
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