Their work is rarely noticed by students, but Friday afternoon custodial, maintenance and security staff at Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain High School were given a heartfelt thank-you and their own personal day.
Custodian and Maintenance Appreciation Day was the brainchild of Klub Kindness, formed in 2003-04 by students to spread kindness and serve the community.
"We call it the ‘cool club with the cheesy name,’ " said club president and sophomore Kaitlin King, 16.
A consistent core of 30 students regularly carries out the group’s activities, including monthly kindness projects, said sponsoring teacher Ann Rogers.
On Oct. 8, Klub Kindness had Open the Door Day, posting club members at each school entrance. For the entire day, the students opened doors for other students, Rogers said.
Klub Kindness members decided to honor custodial staff members as a way to highlight the unsung heroes of the school.
Facilities coordinator Dusty McManus and his staff, who were honored Friday, are responsible for maintaining the school’s plumbing and electrical equipment, setting up for school activities and cleaning up afterward.
"Basically, what we try to do is remain behind the scenes as much as possible," he said. "It’s not a job you’d want if you like pats on the back all the time."
Staff members were honored Friday with flowers, cards, gift certificates and school paraphernalia.
"We wanted to make students aware of all the services people do for them every day," said group member Jenni Munson, 16, a sophomore. "And (to) let the custodians know they are appreciated."