All the students at Community R-6 elementary school know Daniella Woodson. She speaks with them, laughs with them and cleans up after them. Woodson is, after all, one of the school's custodians. She …
All the students at Community R-6 elementary school know Daniella Woodson. She speaks with them, laughs with them and cleans up after them. Woodson is, after all, one of the school's custodians. She has served at R-6 for four years, the first three on the night shift.
Woodson grew up in Bowling Green, but has lived on a farm full of animals and kids outside of Mexico for the last 10 years.
1. Your school year probably starts weeks before the teachers and students arrive.
I work all through the year. I don't get the summer off. We do a lot of deep cleaning in every room, we restock everything, wax the floors. At the start of the year it's nice. It’s no longer a vacant building. We miss the kids.
2. Custodians have a unique status with kids, right?
The kids love us. We joke with the kids. We're there when they spill. We lighten up the situation.
3. What's your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the day is lunch. We're there to help the kids. And we get to hear lots of stories.
4. The least favorite part?
Flu season. Seeing them sick. It's always embarrassing for a child to puke.
5. So in many ways you're like a psychologist.
[Laughs] I have six kids of my own. It prepares you for the job.
6. Do you ever get away from kids?
No. Kids are my life, 24-7. Our house is a gathering place.
7. So your animals are your relief.
Yes. They don't talk back. They're my therapy.
8. Do you have a favorite animal?
Horses. Horses and dogs. But I love them all, even the slimy ones. All critters get embraced at my house.
9. The slimy ones?
My nine year old son, when he was smaller he would bring in wooly worms. He kept them in his pockets and he'd forget. We had wooly worms in the house and we'd have to find them and turn them loose outside.
10. If not a custodian, what would you be?
I always wanted to be a veterinarian. I was a stay at home mom and an evening custodian position came available. I thought I could be more involved with the kids. It's not a veterinarian, but I love it. I love the kids. I think I'm right where I'm supposed to be.