The Real Hero of the School! Meet Nightly Custodian Mr. Ray

Photo by Lauren Villacorte

Mr. Ray Hinojos (Nightly Custodian)

How has the way you approached your job differed since COVID-19 hit the States?

“Definitely a mind shift. I still see the same classroom as before, but now I have to approach it mentally in a different way. Understanding all the precautions that we have, and even trying to block out the things that the world says–news, whatever–and say, ‘Well, what is my job? What have they asked me to do?’ and apply that here. And, of course, being more conscious of gloves, masks, sanitizing, and all that. It is different; it has put a heightening in being aware and just trying to stay in that focus because it is easy to drift back into what we used to do.”

Is there anything you would like to tell the student body, in regards to all the trash that is being left around campus?

“Honestly, it is part of the gig. I mean sure, would it be nice if everybody threw their trash away all the time? Of course, it would be. But it is also part of the gig. That is what we are here for. There are certain responsibilities that came with accepting this job, and that is part of it. You know, we clean. But what I have heard a lot before is ‘Well that is their job, that is what they are paid for.’ And in a sense, yes, we are. But, at the same time, it would be nice to just clean and people did not say that.”

What do you like best about working at Glen A. Wilson?

“Because of my position as the nightly custodian, I get to mingle with coaches and sports. So other than my regular custodial duties, I am called on for various things to help out with sports. So, that has been a bonus for me, because I get to know coaches and students.”

Do you have any other hobbies? If so, what are they?

“Personally, I do not have a lot of [traditional] hobbies like music or sports. I have been doing a lot of volunteering for many years in various areas in life; it depends on where the need is and if I happen to find out what is going on. I actually used to volunteer with the Bamboosters and the Christian Club at Los Altos High School. I also love going to the beach, and even though I do not go often, I love it there. It is very soothing; just going for a walk and relaxing and eating ice cream at the end of the day. And also hanging out with my two grandkids and seeing them when I can. The simple stuff. I am a stay-cation kind of guy; I do not really travel. When I take a vacation it is really local: hanging out, going to eat dinner, riding a bike, stuff like that. So for me, not necessarily hobbies, but the enjoyments of life.”

What’s your favorite movie and why?

“Every Christmas, I love to watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ I love that whole idea of ‘what would life be if you weren’t here?’ It makes you realize how important you are; that you are here. I love that. It is a great movie; it makes you think. There are certain times in our lives when we think ‘what is the use? Nobody cares.’ But then when you really focus, you really see how helpful you can be in somebody’s life. Even though it is not your name on a billboard or an award, somebody can come around and say, ‘Hey man, thank you so much for this thing you did six months ago.”

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