Unsung hero: Wayne Roarke, Jr.

“Unsung Heroes” is a new series of interviews and photos of Concord High School staff members who are underappreciated. They all help the school in their own way, perhaps by cleaning bathrooms, working in the cafeteria or answering phones.
First in the series is a conversation with custodian Wayne Roarke, Jr.
Q: “What did you like or dislike about your own high school growing up?”
A: “Good question. Well, I went to Winnisquam. I was actually heavily involved with the FFA (Future Farmers of America). I was a state officer. That was a big, big part of my high school time, the four years I spent there. I went to national conventions. I went to Missouri and stuff like that. But, um, what did I dislike? Well, I was pretty quiet. I knew everybody, but I wasn’t a fan of cliques. That’s a big thing in high school. I’m sure you notice, who has their cliques. I always knew everybody, I talked to everybody. I really never considered myself a clique-y person.”
Q: “Have you worked anywhere else?”
A: “Yes, a lot of places actually. The last place I worked before here was Home Depot. I painted a lot for myself. I was a mason’s tender for a while. I worked in retail a lot, I worked at the Gap at one point. I worked at Shaws supermarket a long time ago. I did a lot of stuff. Actually, bounced around quite a bit.”
Q: “How long have you worked at Concord High School?”
A: “Just under three years.”

This series by sophomore Samuel Habib will run throughout Q4.

Q: “What does your typical workday look like?”
A: “Well that can vary. Usually I show up and the first hour, hour and a half is steady cleaning my rooms, or I could get a phone call. Sometimes somebody needs something, maybe there’s a late delivery. I have to run downstairs and help with that. Sometimes someone is locked out of a room or a locker. I get a call over the radio, and then I’ll be running around. So probably I’d say 3 out of the 5 days I’m running around he first two hours, then I’ll get to do my steady work. Sometimes if I have extra time, I can actually get to do some painting, or maintenance around the building. (If there’s a school function) I’m definitely involved with that. Definitely during the sports season too. I’m heavily involved with set-ups, making sure the gym is ready for games and things like that. I’m actually doing the set up now for, I’m not quite sure what, there’s something going on over in the student center. We pulled all the tables and chairs up.”
Q: “What do you dislike about your job?”
A: “Um, I try to keep a positive attitude. Every once in a while things can get frustrating. There’s a lot of damage around the building. A lot of he kids like to write a lot of gaffitti on the walls, and I find myself painting over it. It seems like an ongoing battle. You paint one day, the next something else will be here, you got to go over it again. That can get somewhat aggravating, but it is what it is. “
Q: “What is the easiest or most fun part of your job?”
A: “Interacting with the students and staff. I’m always looking to make people smile. I can get myself into trouble sometimes too, because a lot of my life has been laugh at all costs. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. “
Q: “What is the hardest part of your job?”
A: “I don’t find too much hard. The summertime can be really hard on the custodians. Believe it or not, that’s the busiest time of he year for us. We have to strip all these rooms, clean all the furniture, clean all the carpets, strip floors, put new wax down. But that can be the hardest part of my job, but it’s he nicest because I get to go first shift during the summertime. It’s hot, and that adds to it. You know how hot this building gets.”
Q: “How do you and the people who do your type of job help Concord High School every day?”
A: “Well, definitely trying to keep it clean for you guys. Trying to protect you guys from germs. We definitely have to disinfect, clean all the bathrooms, make sure everything’s ready to go, clean desks. Can’t have you guys in filth or anything like that.”
Q: “What is the strangest thing that ever happened during your job here at Concord High School?”
A: “Sometimes in the summer, up by the nurses’ office, there are birds, if they leave their windows open. They’ll fly in and we’ll have to try to get the birds out. I know that last year, there was a pipe that burst in Jeff Fullam’s room. That was interesting. We had to clean that up, that was fun. Me and Nate who was here last year. That was probably one of the stranger things. Every once in a while a wild animal gets in the building and we have to shoo it out.”
Q: “What can the students of Concord High do to make your job easier?”
A: “For the most part, we know that 95% of these students are great. Kids don’t damage anything like that. Damage is the biggest thing that impedes us from doing our job. If there’s like a wall kicked in, or something like that, it takes time out of our day. It’s usually a certain demographic that’s doing that. And if I were a student and I saw someone doing that, I’d say, ‘hey, why are you doing that?’ That’s probably the easiest way to handle something like that. If people don’t say things, it just continues.”