Unsung Heroes: The FCHS Custodians

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Unsung Heroes: The FCHS Custodians

Photo Taken By: FCHS Journalism

Photo Taken By: FCHS Journalism

Photo Taken By: FCHS Journalism

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Whoops… you dropped something. Who is going to pick it up? And that balled up paper that “missed” the trash can? Who do you think is going to see it gets in the trash can? While you walk through the school, it might not even cross your mind who actually keeps the school running. The first people who come to mind may be the administrators, but in many ways it is the custodians who keep the school running.

 For example, custodians clean up the cafeteria after each lunch and spend countless hours cleaning classrooms, hallways, and bathrooms. “Our busiest time is between twelve and two in the afternoon, during lunches,” said Head Custodian Gerald Martin. Students should know that doing things like not pushing their chairs in after lunch makes the custodians’ jobs harder because then they not only have to clean up after the students but also push in their chairs. Overall, “the job is not that hard. It is just very time-consuming,” said Martin.

The custodians work especially hard to clean up after careless students in all areas of the school. “The third floor lobby is a big problem because students don’t bother to clean up after themselves,” said Martin. Students have also caused problems in the bathrooms recently by sticking ketchup packets under toilet seats. “What kind of person thinks of things like that?” said teacher Elizabeth Pellicane. “If students took creativity like that and channeled it into something constructive, they could probably cure cancer someday,” she added.

Many students have no idea just how long it takes to clean things at the school. For example, it takes the custodians 45 minutes to clean just the girls’ bathroom near the Auditorium, and 35 minutes to clean the boys’ bathroom, and that’s if the students left them in good shape.  Each night, the custodians have to clean 18 student bathrooms, six or more staff bathrooms, as well as floors in hundreds of classroom, hallways, and steps. Add things like a spilled Dunkin Donuts drink and it takes even longer. And while some students might say “Well gee, that’s the custodians’ job,” how about this thought: Would you appreciate it if someone made your job harder and then said “Well, that’s your job!”?

“Students need to know how hard it is to clean up after them and they need to take pride in keeping their school clean,” said Martin, who is one of four daytime custodians. He said that the majority of the daytime custodians work from 7 am to 4 pm, while the night-time custodians work from 4 pm to midnight. Having to clean up these careless messes just adds to what these gentleman go through day in and day out.

The custodians not only clean the inside of the school, but also maintain the outside campus. “We clean the parking lots, mow the grass, just simple maintenance,” said custodian Herbert Adams. Along with maintaining the school grounds, the custodians have to make sure their tools are in working order. “We use a lot of machinery like tractors and lawn mowers outside, so we make sure those are working smoothly,” said Adams.

The custodians are without a doubt the unsung heroes of our school. They stay hours before and after the school day to keep it in the best condition. So next time you walk by one of the school’s custodians, say “Thank you,” because they definitely deserve it.

FCHS Daytime Custodians:

·         Gerald Martin

·         John Van Tassel

·         Doug Tanner

·         Herbert Adams

FCHS Nighttime Custodians

·         Archie Giles

·         Jerome Lewis

·         Melvin Jones

·         Robin Armstrong

·         Vernon Hughston

·         Ronald Williams

·         John Hughes