The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

The news site of Marquette High School

Marquette Messenger

Students in the Authentic Science Research class create their own research projects and use district materials and labs to complete projects.
Authentic Science Research 3 Removed from 2024-2025 Course Offerings
Emily Chau, Staff Reporter • May 23, 2024

Emma Carcamo, junior, sadly looks at her Chromebook screen. She has requested her schedule for the 2024-2025 school year but suddenly has to...

The parking lot is divided into senior parking and junior parking with senior parking being closest to the entrance. With seniors gone for the last two weeks of school, sophomores were able to purchase the use of a spot for the remainder of the year for $10.
Sophomores Buy Senior Parking Spots for Remainder of Year
Justin Small, In-Depth Editor • May 21, 2024

Because the senior lot was to become vacant after the Class of 2024’s graduation on Saturday, May 11, with two more weeks of classes before...

At any given time, students can be found in the Library or in a classroom on their phone, sometimes while also on another screen such as their Chromebook.
Hard Habit to Break
Willem Hummel and Gwyn MathusMay 17, 2024

Gianna Kensy, sophomore, said she often feels peer pressure to constantly post on social media. “On Snapchat, it's mainly you wanna say...

On Friday night, the northern lights were visible within miles of MHS.
Look Up
Kate Jesperson, Opinions Editor • May 15, 2024

Parker Goltzman, freshman, was in Malinmor, Missouri, celebrating his dad’s birthday on Friday, May 10. “I was outside with my family...

RSD to Hire Students, Teachers for Custodial Positions

In the midst of a custodial shortage, the administration has looked for alternative ways to lesson the full-time custodial staff’s workload including hiring students and staff and offering community service hours to students and clubs who clean during Ac Lab.
Media by David Moss
Randall Ray, custodial head, cleans tables along with other members of the custodial and lunch staffs between lunches. A shortage of custodial workers has prompted the district to pursue hiring students before and after school to help clean the building.

At the end of the month, MHS will lose a custodian, leaving the building with only two janitors during the day and four at night. This total is compared to the 5 to 6 day custodians and 11 night custodians the building is supposed to have, Randall Ray, custodian head, said. 

As the problem of custodial shortages continues to worsen, the administration has opted to offer janitor positions to students to help ease the current staff’s duties. Students who are hired would work no more than two to four hours a day for up to three to four days a week at a rate of $15.46 an hour. There are no weekend hours. The district will prioritize academics over work for those students who are hired.

Applications are available through a Rockwood application portal, which admin can direct interested students to access. 

With a small staff and 10 times the workload he’s had in the past, Ray said he would appreciate having more help around the school and is surprised that more students don’t apply for a janitor position. 

“It’s a learning experience for them,” Ray said. “And plus, it helps the school out too.”

Having such a small staff makes it difficult for the full-time staff to even empty trash cans, Ray said. 

“It’s even going to be worse so it’s been a big impact on everybody,” Ray said. “We don’t have the people to clean the school the way it’s supposed to be.”

Ray said that a frustrating part of this problem is how lengthy the hiring process is for students. There are background checks and fingerprinting that has to be done, and then the individual has to get approved by the Board of Education. 

Even adults who currently work at the school have to go through the process, which Ray said he doesn’t understand. 

“It takes so long to get them through the channels and all of that,” Ray said. “That hiring process, it takes forever. I mean, it’s pretty rough.”

We don’t have the people to clean the school the way it’s supposed to be.”

— Randall Ray

Ray said students wouldn’t have to perform all duties of a custodian, like cleaning bathrooms, but will have tasks such as sweeping hallways, vacuuming the library and cleaning up the theater. 

Carlos Vences, senior, applied to work as a custodian after seeing fliers posted on the walls. 

Vences previously worked at Panera and said working at fast food places was constant and demanding, so this opportunity seemed like a better alternative. 

“The wage is really nice,” Vences said. “It seems way more manageable, especially with time since I won’t have to work as much.”

He said he recommends students apply because there is flexibility not present at other jobs and the work doesn’t include cleaning bathrooms or with chemicals. 

Vences said he will get to work 15 hours a week and can choose when he works. 

Sophomore Principal Kyle Devine said the idea of hiring students was first presented last year, as few adults were applying to halt the custodial shortage. As of now, two students have applied.

“We have a very big building,” Devine said. “Over the last year, we’ve had four custodians retire, so it’s not making it any easier on them trying to balance the absolute needs of sanitary cleaning and also what we would like to see aesthetically.”

Devine said the other custodians fulfill the most essential duties like trash and bathrooms.

“We’re not going to give kids keys to rooms or things like that, but they can vacuum the library,” Devine said. “People feel better about seeing things that are clean. When the public comes in for things, you want to give a good impression.”

Former Principal Dr. Hankins aids the lunch and administration staffs in cleaning the Commons after every lunch shift last school year. The custodial shortage began around the time of COVID and has continued into this school year. As a result, the administration has reached out to faculty and staff members to apply for part-time custodial work. (Media by Prashu Sidella)

Devine also recently sent an email to staff asking them to consider applying for part-time custodial work within the district.

“We don’t have enough custodians to get into classrooms to sweep and mop,” Devine said. “There are no applicants from the public, so we find ourselves turning to our current employees who may be interested in part-time work.”

The administration has also opened Ac Lab mods for students and clubs to sign up for community service hours to clean the school during both mods.

Marquette Academic & Cultural Club, (MACC) has dedicated their service project of the year to helping clean up campus. The club, sponsored by Maria Stull, language arts teacher, will now spend the last Monday of each month cleaning at school. 

On Monday, Sept. 25, the club held its first cleaning session.

“We swept stairways, wiped down handrails and picked up trash,” Stull said. “We hope that by helping out we will encourage other students to do the same.”

ROTC also has stepped forward to help. On Friday, Sept. 22, members helped pick up the stadium after the Homecoming game. 

It was nice to give back. People always say that but it’s true.”

— Hanna Grzyb

“The stadium was super messy, nobody really cleaned up after themselves,” Hanna Grzyb, freshman, said. “I wanted to help the custodians out.”

Grzyb said she is likely to help out again. 

“It was nice to give back,” she said. “People always say that but it’s true.”


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About the Contributors
David Moss
David Moss, Co-News Editor
David Moss, junior, is one of the news editors for the Marquette Messenger. This is his first full year on staff. David participates in cross country and track in the fall and spring. He also plays piano at his church and in the JazzU program.
Anvi Talyan
Anvi Talyan, Associate Editor
Anvi Talyan, junior, is the Associate Editor for the Marquette Messenger, with this being her third year on staff. Outside of writing, she is interested in science and is on the Exec Board for HOSA at Marquette. Anvi also enjoys spending her time playing tennis, listening to music, and hanging out with her friends.
Claire Lowder
Claire Lowder, Opinions Editor
Claire Lowder, senior, is the Opinions Editor for the Messenger. This will be her second year on staff. Outside of writing, she enjoys shopping, reading, hanging out with friends, and listening to vinyls on her record player, especially Phoebe Bridgers.
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