Underappreciated staff creates a better DBHS

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Underappreciated staff creates a better DBHS

The earliest to arrive and the latest to leave, more often than not the hard work and dedication of many Diamond Bar High School employees not affiliated in educational departments are unrecognized.

 From maintaining a safe environment for both students and faculty to keeping the campus immaculate, custodians, security guards and kitchen staff are only several of the many underrepresented staff at Diamond Bar High School. 

Usually seen in a vibrant purple DBHS sweatshirt cleaning up lunch trays and leftovers around the cafeteria during fifth period, Francisco Espinosa has been employed by the Walnut Valley Unified School District for over 20 years. 

“I worked in a machine shop before this,” Espinosa said. “Here, I am one of the morning crew members, where we make sure that all the buildings are in sanitary conditions and secure before you guys come to school, and also for the staff and parents.” 

Having a daughter and a son himself, Espinosa says he dedicates as much effort into cultivating a pleasant school environment at DBHS as he hopes the custodians do at his children’s school. Aspiring to leave a positive impact, reflecting the experience he hopes his children will one day experience, Espinosa reminds students to always be polite and asks that everyone help do their share in picking up after themselves. 

“I would appreciate it so much if the students just help clean up after themselves,” Espinosa said. “We have trash cans all around the campus. After lunch, I have to remind a lot of students throw their trash away, but some of them roll their eyes and give me [attitude]. Treat this as if it were your own home. It’s the minimum you can do, not for me, or others or the employees, but for the [well-being and appearance] of the whole school.” 

Similarly, Angela Jackson has also worked as a custodian at DBHS for 20 years. As a part of the afternoon shift, Jackson’s responsibilities include sterilizing water fountains, replenishing bathroom supplies and cleaning classrooms. 

“I love my job,” Jackson said. “I love this job so much that some of the kids even call me Auntie Ang. Jehovah really could not have given me a better job. My boss and everyone I work with is wonderful.” 

Another veteran personnel, John Rodriguez, has patrolled the halls and guarded the gates of DBHS for over two and a half decades. As one of the five security guards, his shift begins early in the morning and ends when the day’s campus activities are over. 

“I [used to] worked in North Hollywood as a sound engineer,” Rodriguez said. “I did voice over, recording and mixing for the Warner Brothers Animaniacs Department for five years before I came to work here.”

In addition to inspecting visitors that enter and exit the campus, Rodriguez also safeguards the parking lot and monitors students that are released in between periods, confirming their liberation to their parents. 

 “My responsibilities include keeping a safe and secure community for the students and staff members, and to make sure that the people that come through the gates belong here, and are not trying to cause harm to anyone,” Rodriguez said. 

Meanwhile, kitchen staff member, Cassandra Wetselline only joined the DBHS staff on Oct. 30. Formerly a stay at home mom and part-time hair-stylist on the weekends, Wetselline now works with the kitchen crew to prepare snacks and hot lunches for over 2,500 students every day. 

“We have to cut the food, clean the counters, help out with the dishes, make sure the machines are off when they leave and prepare the food,” Wetselline said. “I like that its fast paced and that there’s always something to do, you won’t ever really be standing around.”

Despite only having been employed at the school for a brief period of time, she expressed her gratitude toward the manners students express and thoroughly enjoys serving teenagers.