Staff Spotlight: GTCC's Housekeeping Heroes
Updated: May 31, 2022
Proud to be a vital part of the college team
Hugh Love, hard at work. Photos by Forrest Malloy.
By Forrest Malloy
Imagine if you were to walk into class in the morning and the classroom was filthy. What if no one ever emptied the trash or cleaned the bathrooms? How would that change your ability to learn? Would you pay more attention to the sticky mess that someone left on your desk a week ago, or your teacher? GTCC's housekeeping staff is here to make sure a mess isn’t on the list of possible distractions for students. Without the housekeeping staff, some of whom have been here for over 20 years, GTCC would not have a safe and conducive learning environment.
“My main job is to make sure the building is safe and clean for all students, " said Paul Shepard, who works the night shift in Science Hall. "Germs are on a constant move, so we have to constantly kill them and get rid of them.”
Thanks to the housekeeping staff every single classroom, common area, and bathroom are cleaned twice a day, all the way down to the door handles. Even though things are attempting to return to normal, the ghost of the pandemic still haunts us all, so getting ahead of the germs is so important. Housekeepers also keep their eyes out for things that may be broken on campus. By collaborating with other departments such as maintenance workers, they ensure students’ safety.
Everyone we interviewed said they had a specific routine they stick to. Cindy Carpenter, a housekeeper with GTCC for almost 23 years, can be found cleaning Davis Hall as well as the Campus Police building. She has been asked to train new housekeepers in the past because her boss loves that she sticks to a daily cleaning routine, never missing a thing. Carpenter’s husband has also been with GTCC as a housekeeper for over 21 years, working in the fire, police, and EMT training buildings.
“Truly what I have loved is getting to know the students individually," said Mrs. Carpenter. "You get to know a lot of students on a first-name basis. This building is harder because there are more students than in the previous buildings I’ve worked, but I at least know a majority of their faces.” She said she loves when students ask her for help cleaning up a spill or refilling paper towels.
Hugh Love works in Davis Hall and James Williams Hall on the night shift. He comes in every day with a bright positive attitude ready to do his job, which he says he truly loves. He says is always on the lookout for the health and safety of the students and sticks to a regular cleaning routine.
“It means a whole lot to hear that we (the housekeeping team) are a part of something and stand out," Love said. "I don’t pat myself on the back for the work that I do. I do it because I like it. The fact that people see the work we do and enjoy the work we do means a whole lot to all of us.”
Shepard also sees his work as part of a team effort. “I would like to say that without the students and teachers where would we be?" he added. "They make our job possible.”
For Shepard and for others, the students, teachers, and housekeepers of GTCC are a “perfect union.”
While Titan Shout was not able to interview every member of the housekeeping staff, we recognize and are thankful for the hard work that every team member puts in.
Do you have a teacher, staff member, or student you would like to recognize in the spotlight? Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org