Behind the scenes

Custodians work to keep the school clean

Custodian Maria Mendoza sweeps the cafeteria at the end of lunch.

Custodian Maria Mendoza sweeps the cafeteria at the end of lunch.

Everyday when Custodian Talisa Lee arrives at work at 8:30, she follows a strict schedule. Clock in, make sure the bathrooms are clean, check the gym and locker rooms, and make sure the school is ready for everyone. Then repeat it the next day.

“We also help each other with changing lights and helping around the school with the trash and stuff like that,” Lee said.

Lee’s said the custodian’s routines can become challenging when the weather changes.

“When it’s raining, we have to mop the hallways,” Lee said. “In the MAC building, we have floods underneath and we have to pull buckets and buckets of water out from under the theater.”

Custodians get two weeks off in the summer, but the rest are spent at school keeping it running.

“[In summer] we are responsible for detail cleaning of the classrooms and the locker rooms, waxing floors, and getting the gum off the furniture,” Head Custodian Daniel Sena said.

Lee and Sena agree that students can help make custodian’s jobs easier by doing little things around the school.

“When they are having lunch, if they could put their trash in the trash can it would be helpful, very helpful,” Lee said.

While doing his normal walk through a few years ago, Sena had an out of the ordinary experience.

“Two raccoons fell out of the ceiling in the morning,” Sena said. “One of them went walking the hallways and we chased him outside, then the other one, we couldn’t find. He had hid and when we found him he had torn up the classroom. That’s how we found out that the raccoons can take off the ceiling tiles and get into the ceiling.”

During her 9-hour workdays, Lee tries to keep a positive attitude as she completes her many tasks.

“Everyday is a good day!” Lee said. “We just have to deal with it and work and smile and go home. That’s all we have to do and you know life goes on.”

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