Why #HelpSteve is Important


A school custodian cleaning chairs

For the students at Kraemer Middle School, the school day begins at 7:55 or 8:55 AM. But for the school’s lead (and only) custodian, Steve, it starts more than an hour earlier. According to him, he has to get to work early to clean the parking lot, school campus, and lunch tables- for over 1,000 middle-schoolers. 

Steve does it all, from cleaning the cafeteria to monitoring the school buildings’ temperature. Although several students may not even notice the difference he makes, Steve shows up day after day to clean up after them. He’s part of the school’s “silent service”, per se. Not only does Steve clean the school, but he oversees the safety of the students and teachers. As the eyes and ears of the school, Steve would be the first to be called if an alarm were to go off. Although it may not seem like it, his job is a big responsibility. 

Though school administrators and students have a summer vacation, there is no such thing for custodians like Steve. In fact, during the summer, the workload may even increase. While the school is virtually empty, he “deep cleans” the classroom buildings, scrubbing everything from top to bottom- a job that takes all summer. In addition, he must continue all the work normally done during the school year, like patrolling the hallways to ensure it doesn’t get vandalized or broken into.

More than anything else, Steve’s job is about people. He goes out of his way to ask the students how they’re doing and makes a point to talk to them. By listening and making them laugh, he shows how much he cares. His relationship with the students is visibly strong. Steve is more than a custodian- he’s a mentor to the students. 

Aside from managing custodial duties, Steve is also the girl’s lacrosse team coach at Valencia High School. He is a busy individual who could use a lot of help cleaning the school- and it doesn’t have to be much. If all of the 1,000 students picked up just one piece of trash, for instance, probably more than half of the trash on campus would be gone. But why is keeping the school clean important? It goes a long way to improving the attractiveness and neatness of the campus. If the school is clean, then teachers can focus on teaching, and students can focus on learning.