HISD shows appreciation to custodial staff

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Managers from HISD Facility Services stopped by Atherton Elementary School this week to pay tribute and deliver lunch to the men and women working behind the scenes to keep campuses in good shape.

The stop was part of a campaign to honor the hardworking crews by delivering 1,300 lunches to HISD campuses and district support facilities.

“It’s hard to fill those positions, so when you find quality work or quality people you want to make sure you recognize them,” said Alishia Jolivette, officer of Facilities Services. “When you see them doing a good job you have to stop and say, ‘Thank you.’”

While some HISD staff get a break in the summer, the next few months mark the busiest time of year for the district’s 1,275 custodians and 1,900 facility services staff. Preparing campuses for the start of the school year in August is a team effort that begins as soon as the last bell rings in May.

“These are some of the hardest working individuals in the district, and are extremely humble in their service,” said Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby. “I am pleased to be a part of an organization that recognizes the integrity of what the custodial team does, day in and day out.”

Custodial Operations Area Manager Pervy Francis agrees. She began her HISD career as a custodian and stressed the importance of expressing gratitude to those who do the work to clean and maintain the schools.

“They need to hear it,” Francis said. “I enjoy showing appreciation to my staff.”

As the school year comes to a close, summer cleaning is beginning to ramp up. Custodial staff duties include sweeping, mopping, waxing the floors, and cleaning restroom areas, as well as any other maintenance required in the upkeep of each building.

Four-year custodian Kenneth Degree, who is assigned to Atherton, smiled when he saw the lunchtime delivery.  “It feels good to be recognized,” Degree said.