Consider: Bus drivers rise early to drive children to and from schools. Transportation workers keep those buses safe and in good working order. A school's clerical workers are a school's truest administrators, minding and managing every detail behind the scenes. Food service workers arrive at dawn to cook hot meals for breakfast and lunch, sometimes the only hot meals a child will receive each day. Teacher assistants help to stretch a school's certified faculty ever-thinner, often assisting their teachers while working on certificates of their own in night classes or summer school. A district's groundskeepers and maintenance staff are taken for granted until an old school's boiler goes out, or a window-unit air conditioner quits, or a SACS committee comes to inspect the facilities. And a school's custodial workers are the backbone of the school, troubleshooting small problems before they become big ones, and doing their best to make their schools look their best.
It's that last group -- or their work -- that the Darlington County School District recognizes with an annual Clean School of the Year award.
Pate Elementary School and Carolina Elementary School were selected for the honor, which recognizes school and custodial staffs that do an outstanding job of maintaining school facilities. Each school is evaluated monthly and is given points for cleanliness.
Thanks, Darlington County, for spotlighting men and women who often go unrecognized and unthanked for their work to provide safe and clean teaching and learning environments for our children.