They keep the floors freshly waxed, the bathrooms clean, the wall décor fresh, and several even drive school buses. Custodians are the often-unsung heroes of a school, so when students at Hendersonville Middle learned Oct. 2 was “National Custodian Appreciation Day,” they decided to turn it into a weeklong celebration.
Student leaders in the HMS student council, Beta Club, art class, and leadership class worked together to create profiles of school custodians Deborah Praytor, David Miller, Michael Bayne, Doug Petty, Patrina Mackey, and John Wooten, and shared them with the student body through morning announcements and a bulletin board.
Each custodian answered questions about their proudest accomplishments, which teachers’ classes they liked to pop into, their “superpowers,” and their theme song. As students introduced their custodians each morning, they’d play their requested theme song.
“Yesterday we listened to, ‘Eye of the Tiger,’” for Michael Bayne, said leadership class teacher Kelly Deese.
The week recognized staff members who go above and beyond the regular custodial and bus-driving duties, said Assistant Principal Amanda Childers.
Childers explained that Petty is an art collector who travels the globe, and shares relevant pieces of artwork and history with classes, based on what they’re studying. He also brings art from his personal collection to create a rotating gallery on the middle school’s walls.
“Mr. John (Wooten) is Mr. Fix-It,” Praytor said.
“Deborah does all the clerical work that John and I would never want to do,” admitted Petty.
To finish up their week, the custodians each received $30 gift cards to local stores and handmade cards from students – who had also decorated their office doors with words of thanks.
“They were ‘adopted’ by different grade levels,” Childers said.
“It was awesome,” said Praytor.
– By Molly McGowan Gorsuch
Public Information Officer