There are a variety of appreciation days or weeks celebrated every year. A few of these days include Teacher Appreciation, Customer Service Appreciation, Nurse Appreciation, Military Appreciation -- there is even a Blogger Appreciation day.
Timberline Middle School in Alpine has created its own week of appreciation from Monday through Friday for custodians, whose efforts often are overlooked and underappreciated.
Custodian Appreciation Week, which is in its second official year, began as a joke, said head custodian Glen Vawdrey.
"I was cleaning up after a secretary appreciation dinner and started thinking, 'it seems like there's an appreciation day or week for everyone except custodians,' " he said. "During Sunday dinner that weekend I visited with my son, who is a teacher at Lone Peak, about it and he suggested that we make our own signs for a custodian appreciation week."
The next day Vawdrey brought out the paint and paper he had purchased and the custodians made signs.
"We wrote things like, 'Our Custodians Rock!' and 'We love our custodians,' " he said. "We have always felt appreciated but this was just a fun joke for us because no one actually knew who put them up. We were laughing and having so much fun."
Before long, Vawdrey and the other members of the custodial staff began getting thank-you notes and goodies from the staff and students. Just prior to the faculty and staff dinner at the end of the year, Vawdrey confessed that they had made the signs for their appreciation week. Everyone enjoyed a good laugh, and the counseling department proposed that it should be officially added to the school calendar.
Principal Terry Hill recalled the reaction everyone had to the signs.
"The effect was just the same is if someone else had put them up," he said. "Everyone was prompted to thank them. What started as a joke has turned out to be something well deserved."
The students, faculty and staff are proud of the great custodial staff they have at Timberline. Landon Hall, ninth-grader, feels that it takes a dedicated crew to keep up with this age group.
"We are in middle school and tend to be a messy group," he said. "It's amazing how we can leave a mess and when we return in the morning it always looks really nice. We also appreciate how nice and pleasant they always are."
Vawdrey gives the night crew credit for the clean building the students return to each morning.
"We have a great night crew," he said. "They are dedicated and do an incredible job."
School counselor Colleen Roundy, who was the driving force behind custodian appreciation week, wants everyone to show their appreciation to the custodians.
"Our custodians are such good guys," she said. "We want the kids to know that they need to clean up their own messes and we encourage the students to thank the custodians for keeping this school spotless."
Moana Burgess, secretary, credited the custodial staff for Timberline's pristine appearance.
"Many people want to rent our building for events," she said. "Whenever people come they think our building, which is nine years old, is brand new. The custodians always keep it looking great and they are so good to work with."
Vawdrey said that the recognition is not necessary.
"It has been a lot of fun," he said. "We could get by without it but it is a fun thing for us. Our goal is to make the school look new every day and I enjoy doing it."