Undercover Heroes: Jackson and Wilt Work Work Tirelessly Behind the Scenes


Running Woodgrove requires more than teachers. It takes hundreds of staff members
working behind the scenes; some cleaning the school, others solving mechanical issues
and still others maintaining the fields surrounding the school. These people arrive long
before students wake up and are there after many go to sleep for the night.

It’s difficult to have a big impact on a school in this way, but two people who do are
Woodgrove’s head custodian Mrs. Becky Jackson, and Building Engineer Mr. Kevin

“They are an integral part of the building,” said Mr. Timothy Panagos, Assistant Principal
in charge of Building Management.

Becky Jackson: Head Custodian


Jackson is the head custodian at Woodgrove. She oversees the custodial crew and
covers any vacant shifts. Jackson explains the amount of time custodians work by
saying, “This is a school that never sleeps. We are here basically 365 days a year.”

Custodians each have a section of the school to maintain, so the work is divided. Some
tasks include cleaning bathrooms, classrooms and miscellaneous issues. “It’s little
tasks, but it’s also big ones,” she says. “My shift is 3 to 11, but I come in and cover
whoever is not in on day-shift, so there are times when I’ve worked 16 hours a day,”
Jackson said. She works hard to give students a clean, safe place to come to daily, and
takes pride in her work.

“Every year, we win an award for being the cleanest school in the county. As a matter of
fact, Mrs. Jackon’s summer cleaning organization is being looked at to be made the
county standard,” Panagos notes.

Jackson’s favorite part of the job is the staff and students. She loves watching students
come in as freshmen and grow into seniors.

Kevin Wilt: Building Engineer
Mr. Wilt, Woodgrove’s Building Engineer, takes care of anything mechanical at the
school. “We are 300,000 square feet. There’s a couple million cubic square feet of air
that gets pushed in and out of this building. We’ve got enough electrical wire to go from

here to Washington D.C, and back. And Mr. Wilt helps manage all of that,” said
Panagos. Wilt’s job is a prime force in the maintenance of Woodgrove.

Wilt is someone who likes to go above and beyond. Like Ms. Jackson, he enjoys the
students. Because Wilt’s long white beard creates a similar appearance to Santa Claus,
every year on the day before winter break, he dresses up as Santa to bring smiles at
school. “I’ve always had a beard, and probably 15 years ago my beard turned white.
One of the maintenance guys came up to me saying he had a Santa Claus suit I could
have if I wanted, so I tried it on and haven’t taken it off since,” he says.

Wilt dresses up as Santa for gigs outside of school, like churches, businesses, even
Christmas tree farms. He loves bringing the cheer to kids. Working at Woodgrove gives
another opportunity to do that.

Becky Jackson believes most students are good about picking up and being courteous
to the custodians. “I think they really do respect the custodial staff here,” she said.

Sophomore Sam Biby agreed with this, “I believe that we are certainly respectful to the
custodians and other workers, though we do not recognize them enough for their