The Invisible Workers: FHS Custodial Staff

Molly O'Toole, Writer


Franklin High School’s (FHS) custodial staff does a great job of keeping our $130 million school in a pristine state. Despite their hard work, students barely seem to notice them.

After interviewing 15 students at FHS only two knew the name of one of the Custodians and all the students could not remember the last time they spoke to a custodian.

One student, Kim Moulton said: “I feel bad… that I have never had a one on one conversation with them.”

Most students that were interviewed felt some sort of remorse for how little they knew about the Custodians. Several students suggested they don’t know what to say to a Custodian to start a conversation.

To find more information I met up with Lauren Kress, a substitute Custodian who works for the Town of Franklin.

Kress began to work for the town in the Summer of 2014. She began after the town had hired younger people, high school and college students, as summer custodial help.

Later she applied for a part time position. “I needed a job in the fall for while I was also going to school,” explains Kress.

As a Custodian Kress has many responsibilities in keeping FHS clean. Her day to day work includes washing floor halls, weeping classrooms, and vacuuming places where there is carpet, as well as cleaning the bathrooms and taking out the trash and recycling from each of the classrooms each afternoon after school.

Kress explained about how little interactions students have with her. She recalled that the last time a student talked to her was when a student knocked over one of her barrels while she was cleaning.

“But before that no student had ever talked to me that wasn’t one of my friends from when I used to go here,” said Kress.

In response to the students’ claims that they don’t know what to say to a custodian, Kress suggests to just say hello.

Kress explained: “People tend to assume that Custodians aren’t very intelligent, and that is really inaccurate.”

She revealed that many people have negative attitudes to being a Custodian, that it’s a failure career.

Kress disagrees with this stating: “The notion that nobody would want to do this is untrue.”

After speaking with Kress it is important for us, as students and faculty of FHS, to not take the custodians for granted, and to recognize that many of the things we do make their jobs harder. For example, spitting gum in places it doesn’t belong or not putting up the classroom chairs at the end of the day is not very helpful.

So next time you decide to leave a mess, remember that the Custodians will be the ones that have to pick up after you.