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Taylor sweeps the competition

TUES. | 11-22-22 | FEATURES

     Some students may not look down at the clean tile floors that they walk on all day and appreciate the janitorial staff’s hard work. That is why it was extra special to Sheldon Taylor that he won Rose custodian of the year. 

     The faculty and staff of Rose vote on who they think is the best candidate for each division of staff. Taylor found out that he won custodian of the year around three weeks ago. He is the head custodian at Rose and has been working here for 17 years.

     “I think my consistent work habits around the school  [won me

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Photo by Ben Cathey

this title]," Taylor said. “I am approachable and friendly with most people.”

     No matter what Taylor may have going on, his biggest priority is always showing up. 

     “I think the greatest impact that I have made is just being here, trying to be myself and make people smile,” Taylor said. 

     He is able to do that because of his considerate mindset, he knows that everyone has something going on in their own lives.  

     “The rock in the water does not understand the rock in the sun,” Taylor said. “What I mean by that is that most of the time, people who live their life in cool confidence, they don’t understand the stress of life of someone who is the rock in the sun.”

     Taylor explained how the rock in the sun has more obstacles thrown at them like the sun beating down on them all day, but the rock in the water does not realize what the rock in the sun is going through because it has everything it needs. He compares this saying to what he sees at Rose.

     “We never know what an individual goes through,” Taylor said. “You might see someone walking with their head down and they aren’t smiling; It may be one of those moments that they are walking the sun and life is beating them up a little bit.”

     Taylor spends every day that he is at school trying to be the person who understands others’ situations. 

     “We have to be more pleasant and try to meet them where they are, rather than throw stones at them because everything is going good in our life,” Taylor said. 

     Taylor genuinely enjoys his job which is why he has such a positive effect on others. 

     “[My favorite part] is the interactions with the students and staff,” Taylor said. “However, the biggest challenge we have here is all of the events that go on from Sunday to Sunday.”

     Although the custodial staff have to work a majority of the year when the students are in school, Taylor likes working in the summertime the best, when the school is quiet.

     “Working behind the scenes helps you get more done when the school is empty,” Taylor said. “Unfortunately, we are the center location of Pitt County Schools, so our school is used most of the time.”

     In his position, Taylor often has to work and communicate with the other staff. He acknowledges that his Rose family makes his job more enjoyable and that they are ready to tackle problems together.

     “[The Rose community] is great,” Taylor said. “Everybody seems to get along and everyone has their challenges, but here at Rose we know how to bounce back and make things work.”

     Taylor keeps his life balanced with the several other passions he has outside of work.

      “I worked in silk screening; I did that from 1987-2000 and still do it currently,” Taylor said. “[Outside of school] I like fishing and fixing bicycles.”

     For now, Taylor will continue working as the head custodian at Rose and making a difference in students' lives. He hopes to retire in the next couple of years. 

     “Always strive to be your best, always,” Taylor said.

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