PLANT CITY The janitorial crews at Plant City High and Wilson Elementary cleaned up at a recent awards ceremony for the cleanest schools in the county.
The schools won the district’s Star Swept School Awards, presented annually for the best-kept campuses. The award is based on multiple surprise inspections during the year.
Owens Jenkins, Plant City High’s head custodian for 12 years, and Janice Poplin, Wilson’s head custodian for nine years, each gave credit to their hardworking crews.
Jenkins said he knew his school was in the running when he attended the awards ceremony, but was still surprised when the winner was announced..
“Wow, it was great,” Jenkins said.
Poplin said her crew members set their sights on winning the award and worked hard to earn it. Her principal, Gina Becker, said of the traveling trophy, “We want to keep it here” next year.
Jenkins supervises a staff of 15 custodians at the school of 2,176 students that opened in 1972. Poplin has a staff of three under her at Wilson, a 535-student school that opened in the 1920s.
The district presents the Star Swept Award each year on the elementary, middle and high school levels, spokeswoman Kristin Waskiewicz said. Ferrell Girls Preparatory Academy in Tampa won the middle school award, she said.
This is the first time either Plant City High or Wilson won one of the coveted trophies.
Plant City High Assistant Principal Traci Durrance, who oversees the janitorial staff, summed up her feelings:
“I’m estatic about it.”
The Star Swept Award was the second time recently that Wilson has won awards from the district. The school also won recognition for exemplary student attendance.