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Janitors: behind the scenes

Reese Seberg, Photography Editor

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With all the events and after-school activities BHS hosts, one can only wonder who cleans up after it all? Surprisingly, there are more than 60 people staffed purely for cleaning BHS and making it look nice.

While teachers get an appreciation day, segments on BHS TV, and interviewed for the RoundUp on a regular basis, the custodial staff seem to be underrepresented in our local and school news sources.

This one goes out to all janitors everywhere:  make sure you know you are respected and both students and staff wouldn’t be what they are without you keeping our school clean and appealing.

Several questions come to mind when people think of the word custodian: What does a typical day as a custodian look like? What are their lives outside of school like? Is there anything they truly despise cleaning?

Hector Aguila and Candido Rodriguez break down what it’s really like to work at Barrington and what their jobs consist of. Most students see them cleaning bathrooms, the cafeteria, and classrooms on the daily. Surprisingly, their work never truly comes to an end.

Aguila said, “Sometimes we work all weekend; we usually work morning to afternoon, and there is a night crew that comes in during the afternoon and clean[s] during the night. There’s anywhere from 14-16 people staffed at one time. We’re always working and we’re always cleaning; there’s always something going on.”

BHS is a constant madhouse between games, dances, clubs, meetings, concerts, etc. and the custodial staff is constantly on their toes. When asked if there was a particular event they dreaded, Aguila said, “I dread cleaning up after filly football and homecoming altogether. There is glitter everywhere and we actually clean all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.”

So next time you want to douse your jersey and glitter, keep in mind who has to clean it up. Rodriguez responded similarly, “The bigger dances are definitely a challenge but it’s our job to clean the school and keep it looking nice, so we never mind cleaning up after big events.” Along with Aguila, they both love working for Barrington High School.

Both custodians touched on the student body and their relationship to them. “I try to be respectful towards students here and I think it’s nice for everyone to get along and be a part of the Barrington family,” Rodriguez said.

Aguila can be seen regularly, high fiving students and walking through the halls with a smile.

“The kids here are nice, I try to be friendly with them. I like Barrington a lot. I like working here because it’s a nice place and a nice town and we try to keep the school as clean as we can. We’re always working and we’re always cleaning; there’s always something going on.”

Janitors and the custodial staff as a whole deserve the utmost respect and gratitude from both staff and students. Not only do they practically live at the high school, cleaning up after 3,000+ kids at a time, but they have their own families and lives outside of school.

Aguila has three kids and a wife who he spends time with when he is not working. Similarly, Rodriguez has a son and a daughter and loves to play soccer and go to the gym. His son plays soccer as well and they enjoy playing together. They’re just like the rest of us; they deserve just as much respect as the next person.

Candido told me, “One thing I wish students would know is that we wish they would help us too.” In which Aguila agreed, “You can prevent a lot of messes by cleaning up, not messing around in the cafeteria, and just being respectful. Obviously, we can’t control all behavior but a little goes a long way.”

Our custodians help make Barrington High School what it is, so next time you see them cleaning up, go thank them. They work harder than most of us ever will.

 

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