Cleaning up one sweep at a time


Sophomore Simon Brown doing his part by recycling his water bottle. Photo by: Jessica Johnson

Julia Davies and Jessica Johnson

What happens when you throw your trash on the ground? Most students don’t even know the names of our custodians who have to pick it up. Every day, Daniel Sandoval and Ray Morales keep our campus clean, making it a beautiful environment to learn in. They are given very little appreciation for such a grand task.

Morales is a former Ventura High School student, who always knew he wanted to return and become a custodian. His family has attended VHS for generations; his father was enrolled in the 1950s, himself in the 1980s and his son in 2005. Sandoval also has three kids who were apart of Ventura Unified School District, which inspired him to work here.

For many, it is hard to fathom the idea of waking up before 6:00 a.m, yet our custodians are the first to be at our school, by 5:00 a.m. and are usually the last to leave, at around 10:00 p.m. In addition, there are many activities that occur during the weekends that the custodians are needed for.

When asked what the students of Ventura can do to help keep our campus clean, Morales stated that they could pitch in “by picking up any papers or anything that they see lying on the ground.” Sandoval agrees, but also asked students “[not to] graffiti in the restroom.” These are simple requests that several students cannot seem to follow.

We asked our custodians what their least favorite part of working here was and they said, “graffiti,” simply because it is so hard to remove.  “We have disinfecting cleaners that we use. Sometimes it doesn’t come off and then we have to put work orders and paint it. It’s bad,” Morales states. Sandoval added, “They are almost always vulgar. We have to come early in the mornings before anyone comes to see if there is graffiti or something else.” Graffiti is against our school policy. If the markers could just be kept away, never to be opened within bathrooms, many inconveniences can be removed from our custodians daily routine.

For more than 15 years, Morales and Sandoval have been working for our school district. They say they love the students so much that they do not mind the long hours. Morales said, “It’s all the people and the kids. We work with everybody, it’s like a big family.” Show some gratitude towards Morales and Sandoval by simply throwing trash away and keeping the caps closed on your permanent markers.