New Trier Township High School District 203 school board members got a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to keep the school’s two campuses looking their best at their Aug. 20 meeting, thanks to a video documentary made by 2012 graduate Mikey Borushek as part of a senior project.
Borushek interviewed custodians on all three shifts to find out what they do, as well as showing them sweeping up mounds of trash left behind by the students.
District 203 Superintendent Linda Yonke said the video will be shown to all students in their advisory periods this year.
Take More Notice
The video was Borushek's way of suggesting to his fellow students that they should take more notice of the workers who keep the buildings clean and make more of an effort to clean up after themselves, said Winnetka Principal Tim Dohrer.
The custodians he interviewed said they sometimes can’t understand why students don’t clean up after themselves.
“Usually, it’s like two steps away,” said Dereje Ergate, who Borushek identified as a second-shift custodian. “If they’re over five-years-old, it’s not too much to ask for them to throw their trash away.”
There’s plenty to do without extra work created by students leaving trash behind: washing and cleaning up snow and salt in the winter, setting up and taking down furniture and equipment for games, meetings and other events.
Yonke said she appreciates the work the physical plant services department does.
“I have the benefit of having worked in other schools, and it’s not always like this,” she said. “Particularly in older buildings, cleaning is difficult.”
Show More Appreciation
At the end of the video, Borushek showed a third-shift supervisor messages he had recorded of students expressing their gratitude for the work they do in the middle of the night.
Board member Peter Fischer said he’d like to encourage more expressions of thanks.
“It’s one of those jobs that if you do it well, no one notices, but the minute you don’t do it well, everybody complains,” he said.
In terms of cleaning up after themselves, he said, “We are dealing with teenage kids and you have to repeat that sometimes.”
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