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Custodians Were the Clean Team

Wed, 12/30/2020 - 08:11
John Daniels is the head custodian at the Bridgehampton School.

John Daniels, the head custodian at the Bridgehampton School, is no stranger to the concept of clean. Forty years in the job not only means he knows how to take care of maintenance, but he also knows for whom he is doing it.

"I call them my babies. I get to see them all the way from pre-K to graduation," he said the other day.

Mr. Daniels is part of a veritable army of school custodians and maintenance workers who have made school one of the safest places for children to be on the South Fork since September. People like Mr. Daniels have worked extra hard over extra-long hours to clean and sanitize -- no doubt one of the reasons the spread of Covid-19 within the school buildings themselves has been largely nonexistent.

When the shutdown came in March, Mr. Daniels also knew how to take care of his brood beyond the school's walls. "I delivered food, Chromebooks, and textbooks to the students who had no means to get to the school to pick them up because there were no buses," he said.

When school resumed, the expansion meant challenges. The five "portables," the classroom spaces at the back of the main building, needed to be cleaned differently. But the same chlorine spray used to disinfect subways, a system of locking the doors of already cleaned rooms, and a sheet to keep track of cleaning times made it all run like a well-oiled machine.

And his grandchildren who attend the school? "I can still watch them," Mr. Daniels said. B.L.


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