Hidden heroes: The custodial staff of Wayland High School


Credit: Alyssa Ao

Custodial staff at Wayland High School share their experiences working here at the school. “It’s a basic job, it’s hard, we do a lot of work,” WHS custodian Sean Slavin said. “That’s one thing, when we get new people that we want to interview, we tell them ‘It’s not hard work, it’s a lot of work.’”

Kally Proctor and Selena Liu

From the early morning to the late night, well before and after students arrive at school each day, one essential group of Wayland High School staff members is already present and working at the school. This group is the WHS custodial staff, who all work tirelessly to ensure that students and other staff members at WHS are able to have the best experience in their school and work environment.

WHS’s custodial staff is often present at the school from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on school days and at varying hours on weekends depending on the activities scheduled to ensure that the school is clean and properly maintained.

“That’s the biggest thing that people really don’t know,” WHS custodian Sean Slavin said. “It’s just a lot of work just to keep up, so that when you come in, you come in to a nice, clean school.”

Every day, the custodial staff comes into Wayland High School with the purpose of keeping it spotless, an extensive job that entails working long hours.

“That’s one thing, when we get new people that we want to interview, we tell them ‘It’s not hard work, it’s a lot of work,’” Slavin said. “It’s just a lot of work to maintain a building.”

Despite the difficulty in keeping all of the school building clean, custodial staff at Wayland High School appreciate the work environment, and several of them enjoy getting to spend time with and talk to the other staff and students at the high school.

“My favorite part of the job is usually taking care of the students,” WHS custodian Genci Gjoka said. “[As well as] keeping the environment clean and tidy, and dealing with other tasks like maintenance.”


The daily routine of a custodian starts well before their actual job. Custodial staff at WHS often have to attend meetings before they begin working to discuss what the plan for the day is, as well as any upcoming events that they need to assist with or be present for.

“We talk about what we’re going to get done for the night, and we go into details about if there’s a basketball game going on at 9:30, and there’s a play going on in the theater from 6:00 to 8:00,” WHS custodian Giraldy Gomez said. “On top of that we [also] have to get done our areas, which mine is in the [south building]. We basically have routines and stuff that we get done everyday, on top of the extra stuff like basketball, wrestling, practice for this, practice for that.”

The custodians at WHS have a variety of different jobs which they work together to complete, some of these jobs being easier and more desirable than others.

“The snow [is my least favorite job],” Gomez said. “Snow removal. I hate it, but we got to get it done.”


In addition to working during the school week, custodians often need to be working during the weekends to help assist with other events and extracurriculars being held at the school.

“We work weekends too. We have a list of overtime,” Gomez said. “We do basketball on the weekends, wrestling, plays on the weekends. We have to do building tech on the weekends too.”

Many of the custodians currently working at Wayland High School came from completely different backgrounds and jobs. However, after coming to the high school, many of the custodians said they knew this was a job they were going to like. Many also said that after coming here, they fell in love with the staff and the students as well as the work environment.

“I came here for a few months, and I loved it,” Gomez said. “There’s a lot of benefits here, we get a bunch of vacation time, sick time, we have a union, all the benefits that the teachers get, we get. That’s basically the reason why I [decided to take] this job.”

As the custodians at Wayland High School work hard to make sure that everyone is able to enjoy a clean school environment, they also have some tips for the high school students and staff to make their job easier.

“Pick up after yourselves please. Especially in the parking lots,” Slavin said. “I went through there [earlier] and got two bags of trash from picking up the parking lot. That’s my biggest thing, just pick up your own trash, don’t leave it on the floor.”


Though the custodial staff at Wayland High School face ups and downs on a daily basis in the course of their jobs, at the end of the day, many of the custodians enjoy their jobs. Whether because of the environment, the benefits or the interactions they have with other staff and students at the high school, several of the custodians at WHS reported feeling happy or content with their jobs.

“Honestly, I’d [rate my job] a high eight [out of ten],” Slavin said. “You have your good days and your bad days. It was a job at first, when I first started working I was like, ‘Do I want to be a custodian?’ but you kind of grow into it. So, yeah, I’d say [I rate my job] a good eight or nine, I like my job.”