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Talented Custodian

November 16, 2011

Jerry strikes a pose with coworker Tiffany. (Photo by Laura Slotkoff)

By Kaitlin Tyrill, Corps Member proudly serving at Reed Elementary School

It took some tracking down, but I was finally able to sit and chat with Mr. Jerry Henry, head custodian at Sarah T. Reed Elementary School. Jerry came to Reed Elementary from another ReNew Charter School—Batiste Cultural Arts Academy—where he also worked as head custodian. While he has only been at Reed Elementary for less than a year, Jerry is well liked and well respected by students and staff alike.

Jerry tends to be seen anywhere and everywhere around the Reed campus, often filling in wherever needed. And whatever he is doing, he is doing it with a big smile. It is this smile that might make it hard to believe that Jerry can make even the most disruptive students stop dead in their tracks. His ability to command respect from challenging students caught the eyes of our City Year team.

I sat down with Jerry and asked him how he is able to have such a good relationship with the students while also remaining very strict. Jerry attributes this ability to the years he was at the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital working with children with severe mental impairments. He said he really enjoys interacting with young people and that he is used to working with challenging children.

Jerry’s kind attitude has helped our City Year team have a smooth and effective beginning to a first year partnership with ReNew at Reed Elementary, and for people like Jerry we are thankful.

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