Vince Sly, CVHS head custodian, recently won the classified staff of the year award. Sly has been working at CVHS for nine years and the footprints of his passionate work can be seen all around the campus.
When Sly first arrived at CVHS in 2013, he was shocked. “I come from a very small town in Michigan and when I first came to CVHS, I saw that this place is bigger than the community college in my hometown,” he said.
Sly was part of the night crew custodial team for his first five years at CVHS before becoming the lead custodian. The night crew deals with cleaning and maintenance of indoor spaces while students aren’t on campus. Sly’s job currently consists of a little bit of everything: maintenance of lockers, doors, and windows, negotiating with the bargaining team, lawn mowing, maintaining the stadium and fields, setups and teardowns for events in the gym or cafeteria and much more.
“Mr. Sly is reliable and responsive,” said Assistant Principal Brigitte Luna. “He enjoys his job and it shows. He takes pride in his work and we appreciate his positive attitude and his spirit of excellence.”
Although students have stayed home during the pandemic, Sly and the nine other custodians have been at work on campus. They have made noticeable changes to the campus such as power washing, painting, and other beautifications. Sly is also working with ceramics teacher Jennifer Jervis on a 5,000 tile New York City subway style mosaic that will go above the front doors of the main office.
Sly is very involved with many projects on campus and has taken initiative to make these projects possible. He recently received a grant through ASB and was able to procure $1,000 for beautification of the grounds. He even got in contact with a landscape architect who came down and did a site visit. Sly’s plan is to rip down the ivy by the flagpole in front of the main office, and replace it with a mediterranean style theme. But this project has a deeper meaning behind it other than just looking pretty.
“We plan on dedicating that space to the class of 2021. With everything that happened with COVID, it will be a part of the students being able to be remembered even though they didn’t get to spend much time on campus, unfortunately,” said Sly.
The coronavirus has created new challenges for Sly and his team as well. They now must disinfect and sanitize everything daily, install plexiglass in the main office, set up classrooms to maintain social distancing in preparation for returning to school, and set up social distancing markers on the ground throughout the campus. They have already put down over 1,000 place markers in the hallways as visual cues to reinforce social distancing.
Once students do return to on-campus learning, Sly and his team will complete a deep cleaning of the classrooms every Wednesday.
Sly’s favorite part of his job is getting to see students on a daily basis and being able to support them. Some of his best memories are from homecoming, seeing the floats that students built such as the Dolorian from the 80’s Back to the Future theme, Friday night football games, the heated basketball game vs. O’Dowd, and taking part in the dodgeball tournament.
“I’m a little salty that we didn’t get a rematch this year in the dodgeball tournament. We put together a team with a couple of the custodians and a couple of the campus security members. It was tons of fun,” said Sly.
“Maintaining a healthy and safe environment for the students and our community,” makes Sly’s job rewarding, he said.