A closer look at West Essex’s hidden MVPs

Custodial staff manages tons of work behind the scenes.

Custodian+Steve+Siragusa+quickly+setting+up+for+lunch.
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A closer look at West Essex’s hidden MVPs

Custodian Steve Siragusa quickly setting up for lunch.

Custodian Steve Siragusa quickly setting up for lunch.

Jennie Lathrop

Custodian Steve Siragusa quickly setting up for lunch.

Jennie Lathrop

Jennie Lathrop

Custodian Steve Siragusa quickly setting up for lunch.

By Nikki Schachtel, Features Editor

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Many people don’t recognize just how much the maintenance crew does for our school. Although they are behind  the scenes most of the time, they play a huge role in ensuring that West Essex runs smoothly. Between the 11 high school custodians, seven middle school custodians, seven maintenance members and four grounds members, there are always people working to make our school the best it can possibly be.

While their jobs are certainly not easy, they always manage to get everything done. The first person on the buildings and grounds staff begins at 5 a.m. After that, there are multiple shifts running throughout the whole day. Some work during the school day, while others first begin after school and don’t end until around 11 p.m. Nicholas Iannia is just one of the hard workers with tough hours, his shift starting at 11 p.m. and ending at 7 a.m.  It’s the jobs that we don’t see that deserve the most credit.

“You don’t know how much goes into it until you have to do the work yourself,” custodian Steve Siragusa said.

For the building crew, juggling setups and making sure every area in the school is clean and maintained is the most challenging part of the job. Whereas, the grounds crew must battle the weather when trying to set up for football games, baseball games and even graduation.  Students often only see the crew getting the gym ready for lunch. However, maintenance is constantly driving for events outside the school and helping out with deliveries.

Furthermore, when students and staff are out on summer break, the maintenance crew is here and working hard. Multiple custodians, as well as grounds members, are cleaning, pulling out ceilings, moving furniture, striping floors, waxing and changing light fixtures.

“I knew there were many people who helped out with maintenance but I never realized the insane amount of work they actually do,” junior Sophia Hug said. “I hope they get more recognition for everything they do.”