Everyday Heroes Support both Students and Teachers with Personal Touches on Campus

Woodbridge high custodial, technology support and nutrition service staff members are an integral part of the warrior campus community.


Yejin Song

Students wait in the lunch line to receive their meal from the cafeteria.

While staff members such as custodians, I.T. service workers and nutrition service staff members are people we pass by everyday but might not have a close relationship with, it is important to keep in mind that they are an integral part of our community and that without them, we would not be able to maintain a safe, healthy, and productive environment at our school.


Emma Rosa

After working as a part of the custodial staff here on Woodbridge for 16 years, Emma Rosa shares about her first time coming to Woodbridge High, and reflects on her earliest experiences working as a custodian.

¨I worked as a bus driver before, and then, one of the supervisors in M&O [asked] me if [I] want to [be] a custodian. So I asked him, what’s a custodian? He said well, cleaning, you know…So I came to this school, Woodbridge, the first day. So [all] my coworkers, you know, they teach me how to do vacuum, how to do the mopping, the way it’s supposed to be,¨ Rosa said.

Custodial work can often be very difficult and demanding as it includes many important tasks and responsibilities including sweeping, mopping, waxing, dusting, picking up paper and other debris and emptying and cleaning trash receptacles. That being said, there are several ways students at Woodbridge can help make work easier for custodians at the school, and according to Rosa, this can be accomplished with small steps in the right direction.

“Don’t throw pencils [on the floor] in here guys. It’s ‘cause…we carry…the backpack, right, for the vacuuming? If you bend it to pick up papers, big pieces, bottles, pencils, it hurts our back, you know? [For] the students, maybe they don’t think, but for us, you know, it’s very hard,” Rosa said. 

However, despite the many challenges that may come with custodial work, the end result of all that hard work definitely makes it a career that brings lots of satisfaction and joy.

¨I’m very happy with what I do. So I wish a lot of people work as the custodian. It’s a lot of work, okay? But… at the end of the day you feel good when you see that your classroom’s clean, [and] your school is clean,¨ Rosa said. 

An organized classroom at Woodbridge High. (Yejin Song)

Jon Charbonneau

As part of the I.T. service staff on campus, Jon Charbonneau describes the role of the technology department at our school and reflects on his own experience working in the department.

“[O]n campus here, and…all the other PC techs around the district basically provide all technology support for the schools, so…all staff members, teachers, and students. And basically here I would say…just provide a lot of chromebook support for the students because Woodbridge is one-to-one; a chromebook-based site,” Charbonneau said. “So, just supporting chromebooks for students, and then, just providing classroom support…like their document cameras, or sound systems, or projectors and stuff like that. That’s typically the day-to-day.”

According to Charbonneau, the sudden outbreak of last year’s COVID-19 pandemic was difficult to adjust to and created many challenges for the I.T. service department, who continuously worked to provide students and staff the support they needed, all while doing so in a virtual format.

“I’d say it was really eerie, not having kids in school. [A]nd then just…transitioning from supporting staff and students in-person to figuring out how to support staff and students virtually…[I]f you’re like a very visual person…it’s kind of hard to sit down and see what issue they’re having, with them describing something,” Charbonneau said.

Although working in I.T. service may be challenging at times, especially during a pandemic when everything is done virtually, there are many aspects and parts to the job that Charbonneau finds ultimately rewarding.

“[B]eing able to provide a service and technology to students…and just being able to give them a tool such as technology that enables them to receive a greater education, is just the biggest reward for sure,” Charbonneau said. “And then, same with supporting teachers as well, because they’re obviously a very important role.”

An array of computers displayed in a classroom. (Yejin Song)

Maricela Jimenez

Nutrition services workers play a very important role in making it possible for students to get access to healthy, nutritious foods at school. They assist in the preparation of school meals, including breakfast and lunch, and ensure that these meals are providing students with the proper nutrition.

Having served in the nutrition services department here at Woodbridge High for the past 34 years, Maricela Jimenez discusses how she first got started in the profession.

“I was a housewife and in a little part-time job, and here I ended up staying 34 years,” Jimenez said.

According to Jimenez, her ultimate goal and the biggest reward for her is to see students eating the food she and the other nutrition services workers prepare.

“[W]e´re here to serve you guys, to serve the kids; want to make sure you guys get a good breakfast and a good lunch,” Jimenez said. “Seeing you guys eating…That’s my satisfaction.”

Overall, these staff members provide a crucial role in the school that allows the school to be at its best. By cleaning up after the school every day, the custodial staff here at Woodbridge High keeps the school environment much cleaner for staff and students; by providing classrooms with devices like chromebooks and help for teachers experiencing technical difficulties, the I.T. service workers ensure that students are able to learn more efficiently; and finally, by carefully preparing school meals everyday, the nutrition services department makes sure that students are being provided a healthy lunch and breakfast.