By: Bharati Ganesh and Neha Badade
Do you think you wake up early? Edison Rodriguez, head of the custodial staff at North, starts his day at 5:15 AM, when he opens the building and goes outside to hoist the flag up on the pole. He then carefully checks the lights in each classroom to ensure they are functional along with the generator, pool and bathrooms. Rodriguez is a district employee who has worked at both high schools for the last six years.
“The most difficult job for me, especially when I first started, is checking the boilers every two hours. If you miss it by just a minute, the [settings on the boiler] are going to change. Lunch tables are tough too, we have to set up and take down seventy two each day, starting at 10:00am and finishing at noon,” said Rodriguez.
In the afternoons, Rodriguez heads outside and circles the perimeter of the building to check for potholes or other hazards on the road or sidewalk. Student safety is his number one priority. In addition to his routine jobs, Rodriguez enjoys interacting with the people around him and being part of the school community. He attends football games, and applies his extensive knowledge of the building by doing the lighting and sound for North’s fall drama. On some Saturdays, he is in the building all day assisting various student groups.
“I actually speak to the custodians a lot, including [Rodriguez], due to the clubs I am involved [in]. There is usually a closet that needs to be opened, or some logistics we need help with on the custodial side. Through communicating with the staff, I have become accustomed to speaking with them in the halls during the school day, because they do a lot for students,” said Sophomore Rohan Patel.
Because of all the time he spends in school, it is often easy to forget that Rodriguez has a family he is dedicated to, and a wide range of hobbies that include ice skating with his daughter. But he is grateful to have more time to spend with her as his previous job in the business field meant that he had to be on call all the time, and could not get time for himself. In the future, Rodriguez sees himself entering real estate. One thing is for sure though: his presence increases North’s market value.
Mrs. Rosanne Bourassa, a main office secretary who is in constant communication with Rodriguez throughout the day said, “[Rodriguez] is extremely hard working, reliable, and considerate. We count on him to do so many things in the school that people do not even realize. So I just think he is a very integral part of our school here. We are lucky to have him.”