If you somehow miss the shine on the hallway floors when you walk in to Glens Falls High School, it might be because the head custodian is in the midst of a deep-cleaning project. Personally.
“I guess the unique thing about my work is that I do enjoy cleaning,” says high school head custodian Becky Blackmer.
“She will do everything she expects her staff to do,” says high school principal Mark Stratton. “Just the other day, I saw her on her hands and knees cleaning the wall underneath the lockers.” Mrs. Blackmer was scraping off years of wax and dirt buildup on the contoured tile below student lockers on the second floor.
It’s that kind of attention to detail that has colleagues and students noticing a big change in the learning environment.
“There is so much good to say about Becky,” says facilities director Gene Figler. “She has been in the district for less than a year, and has turned the cleanliness of the High School around 180 degrees. Not only does she work very hard physically, but she’s also a great leader in that she leads by example.”
Staff members say Mrs. Blackmer is easy to communicate with and is very approachable to staff and students alike. She feels her service has an impact on students because she leads by example, showing that hard work pays off. “I try to instill teamwork, because without it, nothing would be accomplished,” says Mrs. Blackmer. “Also having a good work ethic matters.”
Her work ethic was on display this summer, as Phase 2 of the district’s capital project was being completed. The third floor science labs were finished, while hundreds of ceiling tiles were removed so technicians could run miles of fiber-optic cable throughout the building.
“This past summer, in spite of the monumental task of cleaning a building that was constantly under attack by contractors, she was able to open the doors for students and staff to a cleaner facility than I have seen in my 16 years in Glens Falls,” says Mr. Figler. “And in spite of the pressure, never once did she loose her sense of humor or smile. She has exceeded my every expectation of what a head custodian should be.”
Mrs. Blackmer is described as a consummate professional – kind, courteous, and efficient. Not only does she supervise the cleaning and minor maintenance of the high school, but she makes sure the facilities are orderly and welcoming for the community attending special events in the auditorium and sporting events.
“She has high expectations for her staff and even higher expectations for herself,” says Dr. Stratton.
Mrs. Blackmer graduated from Queensbury High School, and started here at GFSD in early May, 2015. “My favorite thing to do is spend time with my family and close friends, and being fortunate enough to go on family vacations together,” she says. “Also just relaxing and having quiet time at home.” And after cleaning up a building used by 600 students and hundreds of faculty and staff members every day, one might say that rest is well-deserved.