Custodial Staff Stretched Thin With Large Workload


Rey Renick

Custodian George Buckingham and principal Frank Bell joking that they “caught a big one.”

Rey Renick, Reporter

The custodial team was busier than normal this summer. They tackled the new arrangement of classrooms involving numerous departures and arrivals of old and new staff. This, piled on top of the large influx of new students and normal duties placed more tasks than ever in their hands.

“It was really busy, we had a lot of classroom moves to make, a lot of classroom changes. So, a lot of moving. It was a really busy summer,” George Buckingham, the custodian said.

This school year we received 26 new teachers alone, and the custodial team of eight people were left to make the adjustments and complete the setup alone. Even now, the work keeps coming.

One of the biggest problems right now, it’s probably the fact that we’re continually growing and constantly needing to get more furniture or update furniture that’s getting old. We’re kind of at that transitional period where when the building gets 20 years old, you know, we gotta start phasing out the older stuff and getting some newer stuff to replace it,” Joe Cibulski, the custodian said.

Along with this, the team is also short-staffed, making it harder to divide and conquer.

“We’re shorthanded, we’re short about three custodians right now,” Buckingham said. “But I think they got a hiring freeze going on, so we’re kinda just stuck where we are right now.”

Despite the problems the team faces, the blame is not placed on the administration.

“I think the administration does a pretty good job, it’s one thing I will say is, I don’t know if there’s anything else they can do like usually when I tell them ‘Hey, we need this’ they usually do a pretty good job of going to bat and saying ‘Alright, let’s get this done.’” Cibulski said.

With all these problems, the staff continues to stay strong and keep their heads held high.

It’s a joy cleaning up after you guys, it’s a lot better when you guys are here, the summer seems to drag on. I enjoy you guys being back in school.” Buckingham said.

Buckingham isn’t the only one with this opinion, Cibulski, head custodian also shares his sentiments.

Well, I’m leaving, at the end of next week. I’m not gonna be here in the district anymore, so one thing I wanna say is, that I’ve just been so grateful to be the head custodian of Gardner Edgerton High School for 9 years and been with the district for 15. This is home for me, and it’s just been a joy to get to know the staff and all the students that have rolled through here and be a part of your lives, and the accomplishments you guys make.” Cibulski said.