Walking into the lunchroom you will find clean tables, newly changed trash cans, and floors that don’t stick to your feet. This is what most would expect from a newly constructed school and most think nothing of it. But if you’ve ever left some trash on the lunch table or crumbs on your desk during class, it’s almost definite that it has been cleaned up by a custodian.
Douglass Sturman is the Lead Custodian at Sandy High School, and while he is involved in all the aforementioned general cleaning and it’s not unlikely to see him taking out the trash on your way to class, he does much more.
“As the Lead Custodian there’s a lot of responsibilities that most people don’t see beyond the daily cleaning and maintenance. Helping with event coordination and implementation is one thing that can take a lot of time,” Sturman said.
Those responsibilities are made even more difficult given the staffing issues as of late being further perpetuated by the stigma surrounding the line of work.
“We’re about 30% understaffed for the last couple of days which is one of the things that is unfortunate about our job. Sometimes it’s hard to find people because they feel like the work is beneath them,” Sturman said. But even with this issue, there’s still a lot of excitement in his job.
“One of the things I enjoy about my position is getting to interact with all the students and staff. When you interact with this many people, you have the opportunity develop some really good relationships with a lot of great folks,” Sturman said.
On top this, Sturman also has lots of hobbies. “I love the outdoors, hiking, biking, and enjoying God’s creation.” He also enjoys gardening and strives for a landscape of mostly edible food surrounding his home. Sturman has also been to nearly every Spaghetti Factory in the country, and his favorite food isn’t even spaghetti.
He grew up near Sandy and loves the culture, but that’s not to say he doesn’t travel as he is looking forward to visiting the island of Kauai in Hawaii.
Sturman sticks to jobs and plans to stay at the Oregon Trail District, “because of the great culture here.”
So, whenever you see a clean table or empty trash can, remember Sturman and all the other custodial staff that keep this school looking clean and tidy for all students and staff to enjoy.