Tabitha Harrison is a church-going, studious college student, who is also a building service worker at this school. After working as a bus driver, she decided she wanted to work inside her former high school. During the two years she has been here, she has worked with her colleagues in making sure the building is clean for students to have a successful learning environment.
Harrison arrives at work at 8 a.m. and immediately refreshes all of the student bathrooms in the school. She is assigned mostly to the lower level in the building including the cafeteria, the girls’ locker room and classrooms. She was inspired by a building service worker who she saw during her years in high school. “When I went to school here, I didn’t really pay attention to the workers or how clean the building was, but I clearly remember one lady. She was short and small, like me. She was so hard working. I thought if she could do it, so could I,” Harrison said.
In addition to working at this school, Harrison also takes classes online from the Southern New Hampshire University and is a mother to her three-year-old son. “Having a three-year-old and having a physical job is tough. I’m usually tired and worn-out when I get home and he’s so energetic. He loves what I do, but in the future I see myself in a school as a social worker,” Harrison said.
By keeping the school clean and safe for everyone, building service workers are a vital part of the community. “I’m thankful that we have a building service staff because without them the school would be a mess and I wouldn’t want to come here,” sophomore Nashita Bhuiyan said.
After spending years of her life dedicated to helping students learn in a clean environment, there are times when Harrison faces disrespect from students at this school. “Not everyone is mean, but there are kids who refuse to listen to me when I tell them to pick up what they’ve thrown in the cafeteria. It makes me feel good when students are respectful. It makes the job easier,” Harrison said.
Education requires focus and hard work, which can only be possible in a clean and safe environment. Building service workers pick up trash, sweep floors, clean and stock the bathrooms and take care of minor building maintenance and repairs in order to make sure that the state of the building isn’t a barrier to the students’ education.
Due to the efficiency, dedication and attentiveness of the building service workers, students and staff are able to use the bathrooms, eat lunch and go about their daily lives without worrying about the place being dirty. “If we didn’t have building staff members, the students would be unable to learn without being distracted from the mess,” sophomore Faraz Ahmed said.