Students and faculty at Elkin High School arrive every day expecting the classrooms and other facilities clean and ready for another day. That shiny, spotless look is maintained through the hard work of school custodians Alene Brown and Anthony Shropshire.
Although school is a place to learn, that is made possible through the duties of the custodians, which include cleaning the restrooms, classrooms, halls, and locking up the schools at the end of the day. Custodians also may be asked to help set up tables and chairs for meetings or events and clean up afterward. Completion of all their duties is based on a daily and weekly routine.
Lead custodian Alene Brown explained that she has many responsibilities, along with typical maintenance such as cleaning bathrooms and sweeping the hallways. Anthony Shropshire, another custodian, agreed that he has a routine to keep. “I take out the trash, then I clean the bathrooms, the classrooms, the floors, and finally I lock up the school.”
Although many of students may avoid housework as much as possible, the custodians say they do not mind the work. Brown said, “My favorite place to clean is the bathrooms,” but Shropshire takes a different view. “My favorite place to clean is the classrooms, and my least favorite place to clean is the bathrooms.”
The custodians quietly fulfill a vital role in the school, and most students and faculty seem to value their service. Brown commented that she does feel respected by students and faculty. Shropshire also commented, “I definitely get respected by the faculty.”
The behavior of students can sometimes be questionable, and custodians are able to see it all through their work in the hallways. Shropshire, however, takes a positive view. “The students typically behave very well.”
Tyler Bennett, Logan Darnell, Luke Christian and Chase Cozart are members of the Elkin High School Honors English I class.