Maintenance department reflects on gratitude from South community

Laya Anvari, staff reporter

The halls and classrooms of Glenbrook South may seem empty after students depart the building, but what is rarely witnessed is the hard work that goes into keeping the school clean after hours.

Aneta Mistak, assistant plant operator for the second shift after school, supervises the maintenance staff as they clean all of the departments in the school. According to Mistak, she was working at Rush University Hospital prior to working at South, which provided her with necessary skills for the job.

“For almost 16 years my career was strictly related to cleaning and maintenance,” Mistak said.

At the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, Mistak began her career at South. Mistak reflected on the positive experience South has gifted her thus far.

“It’s a really nice school,” Mistak said. “It’s different, you know? When I compare working at the hospital and here, I would prefer to work here. It’s a really nice environment, the students are really good and they have a lot of respect for […] the workers and I. It’s a great place to work.”

When she comes to work, Mistak truly believes she and her custodial coworkers are making a difference in the school for the students.

“Here I can feel like I am doing something important because we do everything the best what we can for our students,” Mistak said.

According to Mistak, she and the custodians with corresponding shifts begin working at 3:00 p.m. and finish around 11:30 p.m., about 8 hours after the school day ends. Mistak explained the significance behind cleaning the school once students go home for the night.

“When [the students] are leaving the school, we are cleaning and preparing the set ups and when they come in the morning, the school is ready and safe for them,” Mistak said.

South Custodian Miguel Iriarte has been working at South since 1999 as a summer job. In 2011, he began to work full time, according to Iriarte. Iriarte works in the athletic department and is in charge of setting up what the coaches need for practice and cleaning the field house, weight room, dance room, and fitness center.

“I reset everything that the coaches need because […] they are using the field house right after school. So between 2:30 and 3:30 [I am setting up what the teams need],” Iriarte said.

Daisy Demeas, a South Custodian, began working at the school in the kitchen when a few maintenance workers told her to try out the custodial job, according to Demeas.

Demeas explained her cleaning routine for work, from tidying up the band room to cleaning in between every individual seat in the auditorium, twice.

“I go in between the seats to check and see if anybody lost anything and then I clean between the seats and vacuum inside there,” Demeas said. “Then, I run the machine across the top of the stage then I go over into the band room and clean the floor over there. Then I do the same thing again before I go home.”

Through their respect, the South community expresses their gratitude towards the maintenance staff, according to Mistak. Titans at heart, Mistak believes they are truly a part of the South community.

“We appreciate that everybody in the school- students and staff- are showing us a lot of respect for what we are doing for them and we want to say thank you that we can be a part of this school,” Mistak said. “We have no feeling that we are coming from the outside and we are just coming here to clean. The [workers] and me have the feeling that we are a part of the GBS family.”