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Kerry Thigpen

If you’ve ever cleaned up after a bunch of elementary schoolers, bless your heart. But there are only a few noble souls who can say they’ve cleaned up after hundreds. Kerry Thigpen is one. Kerry's the beloved custodian and maintenance man at Iola Roberts Elementary School, and he's also this month's TempForce Safety Champion!

 

TempForce Safety Winner Iola Roberts Elementary School Pell City


We sat down with our Safety Champ to learn more about his job. “Honestly, I’m more into it when school is in session, and there are all the kids and teachers around. In Summer, it’s a different atmosphere, just me and a couple other employees. It took some getting used to.”

How do you work safely as a custodian? “Never involve yourself in a dangerous situation, especially if you’re working alone. Don't go it alone.” Recently, the crew had to strip and wax the floors to get ready for the new school year. Kerry had never waxed the floors alone at a school before, so he was working with another team member. When she called out, he had a decision to make. “Have you ever been on a waxed floor before? It’s slicker than ice. It’s bad enough with someone there to help, but completely alone, it’s just too dangerous.” Kerry found other important jobs for that day, and waited until there was someone else in the building to get back to waxing.

“As far as a challenging part, there really isn’t any. I get along with everyone, and everyone gets along with me. Everything seems to flow easily - it always does when you have help, things flow smoothly. Even the kids volunteer to help, we have wonderful kids and they love to help. I like to tell the morning announcer, Jason, and he gives the kids a Panther Shout Out over the intercom when they help me with something.”

We’re all about Mr. Kerry’s can-do attitude. He’s like the School Custodian we wished we had, and we’re so happy he’s on our team. Congratulations on the bonus, Kerry!