How this custodian is spreading smiles at school: ‘He understands being a role model’

Posted at 7:42 AM, Nov 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 07:58:09-05

MIDDLESEX, Va. -- Middlesex Elementary School might not run without custodian Jeff Watters.

“Not only does he go above and beyond in his job,” principal Danielle Daniel said, “but he understands the importance of being a role model for our children. He makes sure he forms relationships with them and with our staff. And he takes such pride in everything he does. Our kids pick up on that."

Principal Daniel said Watters does every job with a smile on his face.

"We're here to keep the school clean, safe, and help them any way we can,” Watters said. “It doesn't matter if you're a teacher, a janitor; it's about the children."

“Every day in the cafeteria he goes through and says hello to them," Daniel added. “He helps them open up their lunches. And that's something that's not expected in his role."

Danielle Daniel/Principal

"They ask me anything and everything," Watters said. “They might want to show me where their teeth fell out.  It's just a happy place.  And if there's a sad child you try to make them happy.  And most of the time you can."

He can even make teachers happy.  Like the time he removed a snake that got in the school.

"I will protect my children from anything except a creature like a snake," Daniel laughed. “Jeff got the bucket, he took it out for us, he made sure he was in a safe place and we could go on about our day."

He’s only been on the job for nine months, but he’s looking forward to many years of helping out.

"If your health is good and you're happy, you keep on going," Watters said. “That's the way I look at it anyway."

Happiness… is Building Better Minds.