DeISD Recognizes Custodian Appreciation Day

DeSoto ISD Recognizes Custodial Workers Recognition Day
Posted on 10/07/2022
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Soap in the dispenser, paper towels in the holder, and clean floors, desks, and classrooms are all critical to the operations of a school district. These are tasks that may seem to be turnkey occurrences and the individual responsible for a task may not seem as visible as others. 

While October 2 observes National Custodial Workers’ Recognition Day and is a time to consider the team members who handle the details that we sometimes take for granted, it is a day that recognizes vital staff who ensure the cleanliness, safety, and wellness of our school community. 

DeSoto ISD appreciates all of our custodial employees and contracted staff who keep our wellness and safety a high priority.

“The work that our teams do in DeSoto ISD is critical and essential in keeping our district in operation. During this time of recognition and every day, we hope that our employees and contracted staff know that sometimes the 'thank you's’ may seem few, but we are extremely appreciative of your daily contribution and commitment to excellence in your work,” said Dr. Usamah Rodgers, DeSoto ISD superintendent.

DeSoto ISD has direct employees and also partners with HES Custodial services to serve its campus and district facilities to maintain a consistent level of cleanliness to ensure that students and staff remain safe and well while teaching and learning. 

National Custodian Day is an opportunity for school districts and organizations to remember those professionals who keep facilities clean and visually pleasing.

Employee Spotlight: One Custodian’s Eagle Story, Mr. Harry Smith, DeSoto ISD ISC Custodian

DeSoto ISD Custodian, Mr. Harry Smith, is one of the few service and support team members who knows the district’s landscape well. He has worked as a custodian at nearly all of the district's facilities over his career of 21 years.

“Oh, I have worked at Amber Terrace, Cockrell Hill, Ruby Young, The Meadows, Woodridge, DAEP, East , Northside…” recalled Smith who has also completed specific work requests at Curtistene S. McCowan Middle School too.

In addition to maintaining campus facilities, Smith has worked on the custodial floors and furniture relocation crews, as a facility floater, and worked with the HVAC installation team.

“When I was working at the schools, I loved working around the students, especially the younger ones because of their welcoming spirit,” said Smith as he described favorite memories as he would enter his assigned campus building in the mornings. “They would see me and all it took was one student to say my name and all of them would greet me. I am a people person.” 

Smith, who currently works for the district’s administrative support center, commonly called the ISC, can be seen throughout the day ensuring that the administrative facilities are maintained, stopping to share stories, greet staff and guests as they navigate the various sections of the administrative complex.

Serving others is truly Smith’s work of heart. Making people comfortable and providing service and support is a common thread throughout his entire workforce career of about 50 years. Before he came to DeSoto ISD, Mr. Smith worked at Dallas Love Field and Dallas Fort-Worth International airports as a custodian alongside his father while in high school, before eventually obtaining the position of a SkyCap. This role at the airport was similar to the traditional train porter. Smith offered full-service customer support from the car to the baggage terminal. 

“I would help people get out of their cars with their bags and check them in to their destination,” said Smith. “If there was a customer who needed a wheelchair, I would get the wheelchair and help them into the airport. I did this for over 20 years.”   

The job of being a custodian in DeSoto ISD is something that Smith sees as more than a job, it is something that he enjoys doing. It's his contribution to the success of the school district.

“People do not have to worry about how the building is kept. They can worry about the things they need to do,” explained Smith. “I feel that people are happier when their workspace is clean when they come to work. It makes them more comfortable.”

DeSoto ISD is proud to celebrate the daily contributions of Mr. Harry Smith and all of the custodial staff who serve the district.


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