The Sequoyah Scribe

Team of custodians prepare the building for a new year

Neveah Michael, Staff Writer

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Custodians work behind the scenes during the summer to get ready for the first day of school. Not only do they get ready for the first day of school, they also get ready for the summer programs such as “Jumpstart” and the “Back to School Bash”.

For the past six years, Rodney Duncan has been Sevier’s head custodian. Duncan and his team work hard to keep John Sevier clean.

Since Sevier Middle School has a lot of students, it carries many germs. So, Duncan and his team begin the process of cleaning the school by wiping down all walls, furniture, windows and lights.

“We also have to clean the carpet and wax the floors,” Duncan said.

This process is not complete until all seventy-plus rooms in the school have been cleaned.

Duncan and his team also ensure that all rooms are set up the way each teacher has requested. When teachers move rooms, the custodians have to make sure all of the furniture is out of the room.

“We have to move everything and make sure all items are moved to the new room and have it set up,” Duncan said.

The custodians lift and organize the furniture in the desired areas.

In addition, they also keep the air filters changed, which helps reduce hazardous substances in the air. This helps minimize germs and can prevent sickness.

Duncan and his team’s responsibilities do not end at John Sevier Middle School. They also perform these duties for other locations, such as Cora Cox Academy, an alternative education program in the Kingsport City district, along with two modular buildings.

“We have to strip and wax all floors and clean the buildings,” he said. “It takes two weeks to do that. We also clean those buildings daily.”

During the summer, “Jumpstart” occurs for the upcoming sixth graders.
“It’s hard to schedule our work,” Duncan said. “We always have to schedule our work around them.”

Every day of the year, there is also a custodian scheduled to work the “Y” program until six-thirty in the evening.

The summer work is a lot more difficult than the regular custodial work.

“There’s a lot more lifting and moving furniture,” Duncan said. “There’s also a lot of scrubbing and waxing floors.”

John Sevier students can make custodians’ jobs a lot simpler by cleaning up a bit after themselves before leaving for summer break.

“Students should make sure to take everything out of their lockers,” Duncan said. “They should take all items home with them.”

In the end, the custodians feel a lot of pressure to get the building ready for the next school year.

“We do the best we can and hope it all gets done,” Duncan said.

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