Lunch room leader

New student does his best to help with custodian shortage in the cafeteria


Stacking dirty lunch trays, junior Carson Chesterman keeps the conveyor belt to the dish washing center running smoothly during second lunch. Although a simple task, it provides some major help and a much needed break for the custodial staff to focus on other areas of the cafeteria. “I enjoy seeing my fellow peers also taking on the responsibility of cleaning and helping out around the school as well,” Chesterman said. “I firmly believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to help others out, one way or another.” Photo by Kelsey Nunnenkamp

Kelsey Nunnenkamp, Managing Editor

Some may argue that the best part of the school day is lunch time; however, many students don’t acknowledge the work that goes on behind the scenes order to keep things running smoothly in a school with well over 2,300 students, and five separate lunch periods, a lot of effort is to be done by the school custodial staff.  

Although fairly new to Millard West, junior Carson Chesterman noticed their hard work and was not afraid to jump in and lend a helping hand. Unlike most students, Chesterman spends his lunch time stacking lunch trays into piles and pushing them into the cleaning room, so that the staff inside can prepare them for the next round of student lunches. 

“From my very first day of school here, I decided to help out merely to continue the habit of organizing the trays and picking up litter as I did at my old school in Beaverton, Oregon,” Chesterman said. “I have a huge passion for helping others and from this experience I also gain skills of responsibility, so that I can do the same for my family at home.”

Ever since the pandemic, the custodians have persevered through staffing issues and increased cleaning procedures that have made the job more challenging than in the past. For head custodian Rafael Diaz, he is extremely appreciative of the extra help.

“Most days when we are short on help during the day, I have to pull workers from the night shift to come help to make sure the lunch shift can run smoothly,” Diaz said. “However, the downside for that is then being short staffed at night, meaning we are sometimes pulling 12-13 hour days. Having Carson has been a huge help as he can keep an eye out on the trays so that we can fully focus on cleaning off tables.”

 Staff members are not the only ones who have noticed the extra help in the cafeteria in recent months. For sophomore Chase Mckune, seeing Chesterman hard at work has been a real eye-opener for him. 

“I think it’s awesome that Carson has been helping out during my lunch period,” Mckune said. “I feel like some students here don’t do a great job at making the lives of the custodians easier by leaving their trash laying around. We all need to be more like Carson and work together to keep our school clean.”

By helping out in the lunchroom, Chesterman not only built stronger connections with students and faculty,  but also benefited the environment for everyone at Millard West.