Carey DeLaune perhaps said it best when she wrote, “We all know the custodians of the school are the unsung heroes. There are so many jobs they do that we cannot possibly list them all because much of what they do is not always visible to everyone.”
The Sun City Elementary teacher was referring to head custodian J.C. Moton, a fixture at the school for the last 16 years, who is there before everyone arrives in the morning and the last one who leaves at night. He is even there on weekends, holidays and odd hours to make sure everything gets done. Moton’s dedication visibly shows, too.
“Our floors may be old, but he makes them SHINE!” Kristi Pierce said.
He is also Principal Kim Tuminello’s right hand, who she deems “a workaholic.”
“This summer he worked until midnight many times helping to prepare the (new classroom) wing so that teachers could get moved in and prepare their classrooms,” Tuminello explained. “He saved the day when so many delays kept teachers from moving into their classrooms in enough time to have them prepared for the ribbon cutting and the start of school.”
It was the faculty’s appreciation and admiration for Moton that led to dozens of nominations being submitted for him to win Bossier Schools’ first Gold Star employee award of the school year. He was caught off-guard when he walked into a school-wide assembly with PreK-3rd graders screaming and applauding for Moton as he was announced as the Gold Star winner.
“I’m shocked. I’m surprised. I didn’t know I was that important,” he later said.
Sun City Elementary is like a second family to Moton. He is one of only three men who works there. The other 67 are women who he is quick to lend a hand when needed.
“He has come into my classroom many times to grab my car keys because I would have a heavy box or case of water in the car that he carried inside for me,” Jackie Pease wrote. “This is a man who has always gone above and beyond to help with anything that one of us ladies has asked of him.”
He does it all with a smile, too — and, as Rachel Garlington will tell you, Moton is always good for a laugh.
“Mr. J.C. is an absolute lifesaver for me! I know he hates to see me coming because I always have something big I need him to do.” Being the school’s music teacher, Garlington added “He often comes on the weekends and holidays to take down or put up a stage or do extra things that need to be done around our school. He is always good for a good laugh and loves to ask me how my day is going — he knows it will be a good story! I truly hope he knows how much we love and appreciate everything he does for us! The only problem I ever have is when he tries to scare me with the rubber snake, which he thinks is hysterical to do!”
Moton got a chuckle about that, nodding his head and adding “Mrs. Garlington started screaming and running.”
Animal encounters are nothing foreign to this head custodian, though. He has been tasked with skunk removals more than once. Luckily, Moton has never been sprayed.
At the end of the day, It is the personal satisfaction of “just getting it done” that is Moton’s reward. That, and knowing how much he is appreciated.
“Sun City would not run smoothly without JC,” Kayla Vaughan observed. “He is truly a Gold Star to all of us and he is much deserving of this award.”