High school lacks janitors


Duncan has at least 1,000 students that attend its high school. At the beginning of the year, principal Justin Smith spoke in an assembly about the school’s goal of becoming a blue-ribbon school. This requires high test scores and all around making Duncan High School a better school. When the community voted for the bond for the new high school, this meant changing the school’s image and basically getting a make-over. However, there are not as many custodians this year as the school has had before. With construction constantly going on around the high school, having a short staff to clean around the mess is a huge problem.
Custodians have been retiring over the years, and this year there are fewer custodians than usual. Usually, Duncan has up to eight custodians, according to assistant principal Wade Hampton. However, the last two years there were no more than five custodians on staff.
“At the beginning of the year, it was pretty difficult because of all of the construction,” custodian Alicia Careathers said. “Everyone had their belongings scattered all around, but over time it got a lot easier.”
Having a short staff is a huge problem for not only custodians, but the teachers as well. Some of the classrooms at the high school are brand new. Recently, all of the new desks for the high school were able to be put in the new building. There have already been incidents in which a student has taken out bolts, carved in desks or written all over them. These problems are overlooked most of the time.
“With the new building going up, we have a lot more square footage than what we did before,” Hampton said. “Once the cafeteria is finished, it should be a lot easier to keep the new main building clean. Right now it’s a bit harder since we have each custodian in a different building, so things are not always getting done.”
So far, Duncan has put up three job postings on their school website. They are doing what they can to hire new people for the position. Not all five of Duncan’s custodians are working during the day; only one has the night shift. Each of them do have their own buildings that they clean, but sometimes more work is still required to keep everything neat in each building.
“There aren’t enough of us,” custodian Lorne Johnson said. “I usually have to leave the science building to help clean the cafeteria or go over to the main building. Most of us even work overtime.”
Not only are the custodians working overtime, they also have extra activities to be dealing with. Some only work half days because they have to pick up their children. Also, some custodians have jobs at other schools they have to attend; this means there are more classrooms that the custodians won’t always be able reach.
Essentially, this draws attention to the ongoing subject of the shortage of custodians. It may be a struggle to keep the new building clean with all of the construction at the high school; however, the custodians are clearly giving their best to make sure Duncan’s classrooms and hallways are clean.