The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

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The secret teens keeping our school clean

So, who are these students working behind the scenes?
Nola Bachemin
Emilio Massa and Justin Alexander posing.

We all appreciate coming to school and seeing clean halls and fresh trash cans. But many of us might not know that some of the people keeping our school clean are students, just like us. So, who are these students working behind the scenes?

This year, AHS has just two student janitors. Senior Justin Alexander has been a student janitor here at Arcata High for quite a while, since the first normal year back at school, in 2021. He works 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. after school from Tuesday through Friday, and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays. Alexander is paid minimum wage ($15.50) for his work to keep the school shining.

 “It’s easy and it’s convenient because I can just walk from the school to my job and that’s it,” he said. An added benefit is the money he saves on gas because he doesn’t have to drive anywhere. 

“It’s fun,” he said, “You clean the hallways, and get the trash. It’s just easy overall. You clean the school every day, and clean up people’s messes and such.” 

Alexander heard of the job from a friend who was doing it and thought it was a good idea. All he had to do was ask the office staff about it, and didn’t have much trouble getting the job. 

His co-worker, junior Emilio Massa, has been a student janitor for just two months. “I love it because I don’t have to go anywhere after school. And I didn’t have any sort of prior employment, like I didn’t have a resume or anything,” he said. All Massa had to do was talk to the head custodian, Jim Hogan, and fill out an application. 

“I like it though, ‘cause I keep the school clean. I like being in a clean environment. It makes everyone more like, conducive to learn, feels more like home,” he said. Massa said the job is overall gratifying because you’re cleaning a space you already spend a large amount of time in. 

“My co-worker, Justin, he’s pretty cool. Me and him just hang out. We usually hang out before work every day,” Massa said. Overall, he thinks the job is pretty chill, and since he’s part of the staff, he got to attend the football team dinners on Thursdays. He’s also met multiple people who want to help in his future career path, and has made good connections through the job. 

Morgon Giles, a former student janitor who graduated from Arcata High in 2017, also enjoyed the job because it was convenient. However, during his time at Arcata, it was considered lame to be a student janitor and people would make fun of him for it. The current student janitors luckily haven’t experienced anything of the sort. It’s interesting how the times change, and to wonder about the past generations of student janitors. Who were they?

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About the Contributors
Linzi Chow, Reporter
LinZi Chow is a senior at Arcata High. She has lived in Humboldt her whole life. She began writing in 5th grade, when a small dialogue assignment turned into a multi-hundred-page story. She discovered that she finds pleasure in creative writing, going on to take the class junior year and greatly enjoying it. She’s written a couple other long stories, and many other short stories along the way. She also enjoys reading books, backpacking, spending time in nature, going to the beach or river with friends, traveling, and listening to music. But overall, she’d have to say her favorite activity is sleeping…honk shoe honk shoe.
Nola Bachemin, Photo Editor
Nola Bachemin, environmentally curious direct information fact-based reporter. Nonfiction reporter of all things Humboldt as it pertains to the world of high school and the younger generation. She’s no-nonsense addressing current issues and all things political and environmental. Nola loves to write and create art and has been creative throughout her school journey. She finds herself a senior with a lot of life experience including living on the East Coast and now the West Coast, discovering many places, and remaining curious and adventurous. The ocean never ceases to amaze her and as it remains one of our last frontiers, Nola would like to combine her love of words and discovery and express our awe, love, and devotion to our amazing coast. Phone number: (707)-616-5926
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    jawaharJan 30, 2024 at 2:55 am

    Great one! First of all clean school environment is important for students health and safety. If it comes well they all are growing their path.