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  • Chanel Estrada

Facilities staff keep the campus running behind the scenes

Who are the people that keep Stevenson clean and safe? We see them around campus, but most of us know nothing about their lives—we wouldn’t know if they were once a trapeze artist or have 100 kids. There is just no way of knowing who they are.

Gonzalo Cárdenas Prado, perhaps the most omnipresent member of the maintenance staff, keeps the paths around campus clear, maintains the gardens, and artistically reshapes trees and hedges.

Tusitala would like to introduce some of the people whose behind-the-scenes labor makes the school work.

Keven Gorski, facilities supervisor, is a long-time pirate. Before Stevenson, Gorski lived in the Bay Area working in construction. He spent a year fighting ninjas and mastering the martial art of Sho Shou, and is currently a black belt—let this be a warning to all the pirates not to mess with Gorski. Other than being a master warrior in the black belt, Gorski is also a musician. You can think of him as sort of like the next Taylor Swift: “[I] have played some large festivals in Europe.”

The craziest thing Gorski has seen on the job is “some very intense storms” and recalls that there were “several large trees that came down on campus—one tree took out some power lines behind the chapel [and] caused a small fire. Another tree fell on the roof of the music room and made a large hole.”

Gorski brings a well-rounded fund of experience to his work as a crucial member of our community. It is unfortunate that a lot of Stevenson students fail to acknowledge the hard work the maintenance facility puts in.It is also disappointing that some of us are just now learning who Gorski is. There are so many interesting people that many Stevenson students never even acknowledge.

Chris Madill, a 1986 Stevenson graduate, loved his experience at Stevenson as a student so much that he has returned to the school after a diverse set of experiences in construction and commercial real estate, assuming the title of Director of Facilities and Capital Projects. Madill mentioned as an example a stint when he “directed capital planning, construction management real property assets and space management for University of the Pacific.” Outside of Stevenson Madill has another full-time job, one of the hardest—some people’s worst nightmare: raising 4 kids.

It is important to acknowledge the work of the maintenance facility at Stevenson and to thank them for their service to the school. They do demanding jobs, often taking on challenges few people would have the patience — or the stomach — to do. Some Stevenson students disregard the fact that maintenance is not here to clean up after them. Some students will make messes for a laugh and don’t think of the consequences of these incidents that, in reality, are very disrespectful.

May this be a lesson that you never know who you walk by. Everyone has a story so it is always a good rule of thumb to be mindful of others' experiences and treat those around you with respect, especially the people who keep Stevenson clean and beautiful. In a school filled with a privileged student body it is important to be mindful of how we treat the campus and those who maintain it.

What if it was you who had to clean up after people who do not care and just assume people will clean up after their messes?


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