Putting the "Care" in "Caretaker"
Mountview School Custodian Recognized With Mayor's Award
By: Lexi Wright
He puts the "care" into caretaking and for that, Paul Stearns was recognized as a Community Builder with a Mayor's Recognition Award.
This award honors individuals with significant leadership and dedication skills, both of which Stearns undoubtedly possesses.
Stearns is head caretaker at Mountview Elementary School but to students, staff, and parents, he is a friend, mentor, and positive role model.
"It was 1994 when I applied for my first caretaker position and I absolutely love what I do” says Stearns.
When Stearns isn’t staying after school working with kids and providing them with words of encouragement, he enjoys activities such as camping, fishing, and finishing yard work for his wife.
Known for his lively personality and buoyant smile, Stearn is extremely passionate about his job.
“I have the best job in the world, and everyday I get to smile", says Stearns.
Stearns loves spending time with students just as much as the students enjoy spending time with him, even if that means vacuuming the school.
Stearns is known by many staff and students as ‘Mr. Paul’ and Diane Roberts, Principal of Mountview Elementary School, says Stearns is an amazing role model for the students.
"Mr. Paul arrives early for work every day to spend time working with kids. Sometimes he is showing them how to push a broom but more often he is reading with them or helping them with their school work. The conversations he has with students about what respect looks like or why it’s important to help others are priceless” says Roberts.
“I enjoy being around the kids; I think that’s what makes the difference in my job. I get to work with people’s treasures, and that’s what these kids are to me.”
Dana Baron, Administration Assistant for Mountview Elementary also agrees that Stearns is most deserving of the Community Builder Award.
“The students are always saying things like ‘Mr. Paul is the best’, ‘I love Mr. Paul'. It's truly wonderful to see", says Baron.