Oct. 2 is National Custodial Worker’s Recognition Day, and Atlanta Public Schools is grateful to all of our maintenance staff who work tirelessly to keep our schools and offices clean.
APS especially recognizes Sandra Ayers, a 22-year APS employee who began part-time in 1996 before transitioning to full-time in 1999. Since April 2000, Ayers has been at Benjamin E. Mays High School.
“She’s a wonderful custodian, but what is so impressive is how much of a fabric she is to the community,” said Principal Richard Fowler. “She understands the importance of a clean school and its effect on our students. We value her smile. We value her enthusiasm. We value her part in making Mays what it is.”
Ayers hails from an APS family. Three of her four children are APS alumni, her mother was an APS paraprofessional, and she has a slew of cousins who were APS teachers, administrative assistants and custodial workers.
While “some people look at the job as beneath them,” Ayers says she is passionate about her work and truly appreciates her experience at APS.
“Working for Atlanta Public Schools encouraged me to go further in my education,” said Ayers, who is currently working on her MBA. “A lot of custodial workers do have an education.”
Upon completing her MBA degree, Ayers hopes to work in the APS finance office. Until then, she says she takes pride in doing her job and taking care of her babies. Ayers refers to all Mays students as “my babies,” particularly special needs students who she says often go unnoticed.
In preparation and celebration of this story, colleagues greeted Ayers with balloons and roses on Sept. 27, and Principal Fowler instructed her to dress to impress. Ayers reluctantly obliged, ditching her custodial uniform and putting on her Sunday’s best.
“Her allegiance to her job supersedes the pomp and circumstance,” said Principal Fowler.
“I feel very honored to be honored,” said Ayers.
We Are APS highlights APS visionaries (parents, students, teachers, principals, support staff, community members, partners, etc.), who exemplify our vision of a high-performing school district where students love to learn, educators inspire, families engage, and the community trusts the system. To recommend an APS visionary for a We Are APS feature, contact your communications liaison or email firstname.lastname@example.org.