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Black Street custodial crew wins top clean school award

The four-person janitorial team at Black Street Early Childhood Center in Walterboro has won the overall Clean School and Safety Award for all of 2018.
The award is given each year to the school that wins the most monthly awards for having the cleanest and safest school in the Colleton County School District.
The school’s four-person crew is comprised of Mary Brown, Janice Ferguson, Perry Kitrell and Joe Evans. Evans is the supervisor of this school’s janitorial team. He has been working with the Colleton County School District for seven years. Prior to coming to the Black Street Early Childhood Center, Evans worked as a custodian at Colleton County High School.
Brown has served as a custodian with the school district for 13 years.
Ferguson has worked for the district for eight years, and Kitrell has served the district as a custodian for more than 20 years.
“We do it as a team, so the whole school is kept as spotless as we can and make sure each kid is safe. That’s a part of my job, to make sure the kids are safe. And we have pride in this school,” said Evans.
Each month the school that won the cleanest school award, they were given a trophy to boast. The trophy circulates throughout the district to the most-winning school.
For winning the overall 2018 Clean School and Safety Award, each member of the Black Street Early Education Center custodial team also received a $50 gift card.
“It’s hard work,” said Brown. “It’s hard keeping the glass clean … every morning, I do the glass, with little fingerprints on it.”
“I keep the bathrooms clean, and the classrooms clean,” said Ferguson. “It’s a challenge,” she said, with a laugh.
In addition to winning the overall Clean School Award, the school also the district’s overall Safety Award. “Every child is checked in properly, each person has a badge before they enter the building, every door is locked and secured so nobody can get it, and it’s monitoring the kids,” said Evans. “It’s a big responsibility but we are proud to do it.”
The team said they are “ready” and will win the award again this year.
“My enjoyment is the kids. When they see me, they say, ‘Hey, Mr. Joe! I like that.”
Black Street Early Education Center has about 400 kids enrolled this year, said Evans. This is up from about 300 last year.
Evans said he believes the school being so clean and safe has everything to do with the population boost.
“We are all dedicated and focus, and we plan on being the champion for more than a minute,” said Evans. “Hopefully, more parents come by and see the school, and see what they have.”
According to Evans, Black Street is the oldest school in the district. “My grand-momma went to this school, and we are proud we overcame the new schools because we are the cleanest and safest,” he said. “We achieved our goals, and it’s win, win, win.”
Each year, a Clean and Safe School Committee is chosen. This team was recently comprised of Kenny Blakeney, Christine Stroble, and Michael Thomas, and consists of Colleton County School District personnel from different departments.
This team does spontaneous visits to each school in the district, checking on the cleanliness and safety of each school. This is done from September through May of each year. The team then reports what they have seen and recorded to district officials. Then, each month, the Colleton County School Board recognizes the monthly winner of the clean and safest school.
In June, the nine monthly scores are totaled and averaged. According to Stroble, the school with the highest average is recognized as the Clean and Safe School of the Year winner. “This is announced at our Back to School Kick-Off in August,” said Stroble. “This year, Black Street Early Childhood Center was the winner of this award. The administration and custodians were recognized and the school was given a banner,” she said.

Heather Walters (1583 Posts)