Meet Melissa Myruski, high school custodian!
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
I tell this to everyone, there was a moment on a lunch shift that I was working when a student said: “That’s the cool custodian!” I can’t even put into words how that made my heart feel. If I can make someone smile during the school day, my day is complete! I enjoy coming into work each day for moments like that. Kindness goes a long way! A positive and clean learning environment is healthy for both the mind and soul of every Minisink Valley Warrior. That is why my favorite aspect of my job is not only coming into work and seeing all the friendly, smiling faces of our faculty, my coworkers and our students, but knowing that at the end of each day our school is clean and safe for each and everyone of them!
Why do you believe in and support the work of the Minisink Valley School District and what it does for the community?
Just walking into any of our schools you can feel the pride, compassion and support everyone has for each other within the district.
When the world is facing tough times such as COVID-19, our staff and families pulled together volunteering time making sure every student has a meal and a chromebook.
Our teachers, who went above and beyond making virtual learning as fun and understanding for each student and parent as possible.
Our bus drivers, who made deliveries during this pandemic along and continuing to make sure the bus ride experience is safe.
Our Buildings and Grounds crew, who maintained the sports fields and cleanliness for the grounds to make sure our students are safe.
My fellow custodial co-workers continue to keep our faculty and students safe through all of the new guidelines and equipment. Fundraisers were held with shirts of pride and appreciation, to the parents at football events and other sporting events showing so much love, support and pride. Right down to our local fire, EMS, police, security and faculty making sure our seniors are able to make the most of yet another crazy year. Examples are the parade, the Senior Warrior Day and the beautiful display entering the school for our seniors. There is not one person in our district and community that doesn’t show love and support in some way.
My cousins and their children all went to Minisink and now my niece and nephew are a part of that powerful “Warrior Drive!” That is why I believe and support the work of the Minisink Valley School District and what it does for the community.
How has this pandemic refocused the work you do every day?
The pandemic may have added new guidelines for our way of cleaning and new mandates for all of us to follow, but my coworkers and I take pride in our work and keeping our district safe and will continue to do so through COVID-19. It has definitely added more to the plate and is more time consuming. We are required to fill out special COVID-19 documentation at the end of our shift to ensure all new safety measures have been taken. But daily misting, special cleaning routines, protocols and new cleaning technology are all no match for this crew!
What do you want to say directly to the community about the importance of your work?
You may not always see us, sometimes we are behind the scenes, but to us our job is more than just a sweep of a broom, a swoosh of a mop or a wipe to a surface.
Our job is to create a safe learning environment for all faculty and students. So it may look like just a wipe to a table, but in our eyes we are removing harmful bacteria, cleansing the dust and creating a safe and healthy zone.
Is being a custodial a physical career, you ask? Every summer in each school, our custodial staff must take out and clean everything that is in a classroom. That means lifting something as simple as a chair after it is cleaned to a heavy teacher’s desk or filing cabinet. All must be wiped down completely and moved.. After that is done in each room, every floor is stripped and waxed, bathroom tile scrubbed, windows, light fixtures and walls are also wiped down and must be fully cleaned. Teamwork sure does make the dream work!
Fun fact: Each of our custodial staff is CPR certified and must be trained annually in hazardous materials, proper chemical handling and even bloodborne pathogens! WOWZAH!
So I would like to assure our community that in the clean and safe space we strive to provide, the human mind can think clearly and that the only thing our students will ever have to worry about is their school work and growing up!