How Timber Creek Manages to Keep Clean

The custodians at Timber Creek often don’t get a lot of recognition.

The 17 employees at Timber Creek are headed by Esmeralda Jimenez.

“This is my 10th year working as a custodian,” Jimenez said. “I began working at Indian Springs for a year and a half, then I went to Chisolm Trail for a year and finally I was transferred over here in 2009 when it opened.”

The process of cleaning up after students of Timber Creek is long, beginning with having to disinfect everything in the school. The most important rooms to clean and disinfect are the restrooms, locker rooms and student desks, which they disinfect daily.

“We don’t want the students sick, we want them here. It’s our job to try and prevent them getting sick,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez explains that every custodian has their own area such as the fine arts hallway, athletic hallway and many more. Each custodian is assigned 22 classrooms in addition to restrooms. Custodians work for eight hours in shifts starting from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Out of the custodians’ eight-hour day, they only clean for seven of them. The remaining hour is spent eating lunch for 30 minutes and taking out the trash for the other 30. In order for them to not get behind the maximum amount of time spent cleaning in each room is about seven minutes.

“It’s hard when the kids get released at 3:40 and some teachers and students have to stay after, it tends to put us behind,” said Jimenez. She further explained that students could help their job by not throwing their trash on the floor and finding a trash can, refraining from writing on the desk or restroom walls, and stacking chairs so that the floor is more accessible to clean.

“School can’t be what gets the students dirty,” said Jimenez. “It’s hard to be a head custodian and it’s hard to keep the school clean with a lot of students. This year there are a lot of extra students then there was before. There’s a lot of rooms to clean in a short amount of time.”