The custodial parade

Matador Recognition Committee organizes event to appreciate custodial staff

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The custodial parade

Jai Uparkar

The custodian carts, adorned with bananas, mini flags and Mario Kart symbols and characters, whizzed past the rally court at a cool two miles per hour during lunch on May 1. The parade was organized by the Matador Recognition Committee (MRC) which conceived of this idea at the beginning of the school year but executed it in May due to the occurrence of Celebration Week at MVHS. The MRC’s goal is to bring attention to many of the overlooked members of the MVHS campus.

According to junior Anna Kolesov, a member of the MRC, a custodial appreciation event was held last year, but it didn’t go as well as they planned since the gesture only included posters and small notes and the MRC believed that the custodians deserved much more.

“Our [MRC] goal is to make everyone excited to come into school and make sure that they belong, and that goes from the students to staff [and] to everyone involved,” Kolesov said. “To do that, I think some groups on campus get overshadowed and so we want to bring attention to all the parts of Monta Vista that make it the school that it is and that we all love.”

In addition to organizing the parade and developing the theme of Mario Kart, MRC also gave the custodians their own favorite sandwich from Ike’s Love and Sandwiches by coordinating with the facilities manager Chris Kenney. The MRC planned the parade and the food during lunch because that’s when both of the shifts overlapped.

The custodians and members of the MRC pose together for a photo in front of the tunnel of balloons. The yellow poster was signed by a variety of MV students and staff who wanted to show their appreciation. Photo by Jai Uparkar

The custodial staff at MVHS is separated into two groups: the day and the night shifts. The day shift members start their day at 6 a.m. and end at 3:15 p.m. which is when the night shift takes over. The night shift works until 11:30 p.m. Kenney mentions that although the custodians are often overlooked, the night shift is overlooked the most because they are rarely seen.

“A lot of [the custodian’s role is] taken for granted, because it’s [the students] not seeing [the work custodians do],” Kenney said. “So you have a party in your classroom. And there’s popcorn all over the floor, you guys come back, and all the popcorn is picked up and the trashes are emptied. It’s just a given that it just gets done.”

Senior Chloe Wong was one of the many spectators watching the parade and had similar views to Kenney.

Junior and member of the Matador Recognition Committee, Anna Kolesov, hands two of the custodians their Ike’s sandwiches. Six custodians ordered the ‘Matt Cain’, two ordered the ‘Spiffy Tiffy’ and another two ordered the ‘125.756’. Photo by Jai Uparkar

“It was really cute and also nice because I’ve never really seen the custodians even though they are a big part of Monta Vista,” Wong said. “I’ve never actually seen them. I think it’s a good thing that we appreciated them.”

Kenney explains how essential custodians are to maintaining the school’s ecosystem. During long breaks during the school year, when no one is at school, the custodians are there deep cleaning the restrooms and the showers. During summer vacation, the custodians are at school steam-cleaning the carpets, washing the windows, pressure-washing the concrete outside and cleaning the stairs. The custodians also set up the never-ending rows of tables for AP and PSAT standardized testing. When afterschool events like banquets, musicals and dance shows are held, they are responsible for staying afterward to clean up.

“I don’t think a lot of people recognize how lucky we are to walk into school, and it looks as beautiful as it, and that’s all the [custodians’] hard work,” Kolesov said. “They do so much for the school, like [they] clean up all the classrooms, and then help out with a lot of events on school and they’re really the sweetest people ever. I think that unfortunately, they do get looked over a lot by students, but I think this event helped bring attention to them, and make people realize how important they are.”