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The Piedmont Highlander

The Piedmont Highlander

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A campus without students won’t stop some teachers from coming to school everyday to teach or janitors from cleaning.

Following the school closure in March, PHS janitor Marcos Molina said that he left campus with the rest of students and staff. He returned to PHS during the first week of April to continue work, moving furniture out of the 10’s building to prepare for construction, wearing gloves, a mask, and goggles.

“After [about] three weeks, getting close to four weeks, we came back to the school and since then, we’ve been working,” Molina said. “Non-stop.”

Molina said that he and two other janitors, Alma Guidino and Yudith Giler, come to the high school Monday through Friday and typically work from 12:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. They have since replaced their gloves, mask, and goggles with just masks and wear them all the time.

“Every summer, we do deep cleaning in the classrooms and there was a lot of construction [this summer], too,” Molina said.

Molina said that the 30’s building was repainted and now has new carpeting.

“Right now, there are a couple of teachers coming to the classrooms [so] we have to take care of the classrooms—wiping, disinfecting—the bathrooms, too,” Molina said. “A few administrators [also] come.”

After filling out a questionnaire every morning asking about COVID-19 symptoms, exposure, and testing, and taking his temperature, math teacher Doyle O’Regan said that he is able to continue teaching on campus in room 33, his old classroom.

“Once we’re on site, we’re wearing masks everywhere, maintaining [a] six foot distance where we kind of cross paths with colleagues, trying to avoid [them],” O’Regan said. “We don’t want a bunch of people in one room at one time. But that’s pretty easy to do because there are so few of us there right now.”

PHS principal Adam Littlefield said that about five to six teachers regularly come to teach on campus. He comes himself on Mondays and Wednesdays.

“The internet’s real reliable, much, much more so than from home, so that’s probably the major reason why I’m there,” O’Regan said.

Littlefield said that he predicts that more teachers will begin teaching from school once the STEAM building opens in late October.

“It’s not like teaching when there are a bunch of kids and teachers around,” O’Regan said. “It’s a very small handful of teachers on campus right now, so it’s very quiet.”

Molina said that other teachers have also been coming to campus to pick up their belongings, which were packed in boxes in the 20’s building. Molina has been helping move these boxes into the gym to make more space.

“We’re doing the work that, sometimes when [students] were around, we could not do because they were in the classroom,” Molina said. “Now we have a little extra time.”

For example, Molina said, they spent over a week cleaning the kitchen.

“It seems like it’s kind of a small place, but it was a lot of work,” Molina said. “We try to [get] every detail.”

So, when the time comes for everyone to return to school, a squeaky-clean campus will be waiting.

* Emma Moorhead contributed to this story

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