Jonathan Says: two roles at WCCHS that need more appreciation


Jonathan Saucedo looks at issues affecting WCCHS, the surrounding area, and the world.

By Jonathan Saucedo, Senior Reporter

The Quest staff are among those who deserve more appreciation at WCCHS. (Photo by Jonathan Saucedo)

When it comes to big roles people in this school play, the first that comes to mind is the principal. Then, of course, readers likely think of the teachers. Perhaps they even recall the social workers and counselors. But there are individuals at West Chicago Community High School who do a great deal for the school community: janitors and lunch ladies. Without them, school would not function properly.

There are many people in this school who are loved and favored by the students, most of them being teachers, as they are the main attraction, providing classes of “learning”. Students receive help from those adults: teachers teach, social workers listen, and the principal runs the show. 

But what students do not hear around this school is regular and vocal appreciation for the janitors and lunch ladies. Students do not really acknowledge these employees at school, despite the fact both work long hours. 

“They work different shifts. They work from 6:00 a.m. to 2:30, 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., [and] 10:00 a.m. to 2:30,” Isabel Mota, Quest Food Service Director, said.

Likewise, there are currently 15 custodians and one foreman working at the school who have to deal with students’ actions and messes. While these hard-working individuals are doing a  great job, that effort is no thanks to the students, whose behavior needs to change.

Sergio Espinoza, the Building Operations Manager at WCCHS, outlined the top three nuisances custodians at the school face on a semi-regular basis. (Photo illustration created by Jonathan Saucedo via Canva)

“Custodians don’t really complain about student messes, but do vent about not understanding the logic behind students vandalizing bathrooms,” Sergio Espinoza, Manager of Building Operations said.

There are some students who cause problems in schools, believe it not, just for fun or because they want to appear “cool”. Of course, not all students engage in misbehavior, but some do not stop to think about the damage or hassle they are causing. 

Think about this: janitors have to clean up after students every single time they create brush scraps of paper on the floor, or miss the garbage can when throwing their water bottle out. The custodial staff does so without complaint, which is not only impressive, but also admirable. And they do all this without even being thanked. No, for the custodians of West Chicago Community High School, they are just simply doing their job. 

The same goes for lunch ladies who deal with the swarm of students coming in and out, giving food to every single one with little break in between lunch periods. When lunch is over, they keep moving, prepping for the next meal. Do they hear gratitude from the students? No, there are no thanks from the students. Surely it would not be too much to ask to thank a janitor or lunch worker once in awhile.

“A custodian’s starting wage is currently at $15.41 per hour + .25 per hour shift differential for second and third shifts,” Espinoza said via email.

Surely custodians should be paid more for the aggravations they put up with. And students should credit the janitor or lunch ladies more often. They need to understand how much these employees do not only for the students and staff of WCCHS, but also for the building itself.

“We’ve been here for twenty years, so we love our students, we love all the staff, and we’re happy working over here so we’ve been here a lot of years,” Mota said.

Yes, these are employees who have been here awhile – to say the least – so thank them!

Thank the janitor, thank the lunch ladies.  Simple appreciation and gratitude will surely put a smile on their faces, and little kindness will make you feel good for the rest of the day.