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Todd Steele

Keeping Up That Bobcat Pride

By Steve Dallape

“I love it here.
Everybody’s a
little laid back,
and we give each
other a hard time.
It’s more
like family.”

It’s probably safe to say that nobody works in public education for the glory, no matter how much those who do choose to serve our kids deserve it. Our schools are full of unsung heroes who work every day (and not just weekdays) to do their best to ensure that the youth of our community are well-prepared to lead happy, fulfilling, productive adult lives.

The roles that teachers, administrators, and other professional staff play in the education of Meridian’s children are well-known, if not as appreciated as they perhaps should be. But, working mostly behind the scenes and below the radar of most casual observers, another group of highly-trained individuals also plays an important part in our students’ success. Custodians and maintenance staff work tirelessly to provide a clean, safe, and well-maintained learning environment for our students and staff, and Todd Steele is proud to be among this dedicated group.

Todd is originally from Hobbs, NM, a bustling small city in the southeast corner of the state, about five hours from Albuquerque and “a stone’s throw from the Texas border,” he says. He graduated from Hobbs High School in 2006, and eventually made his way east to our area, a little more than ten years ago. “I love it here,” he says earnestly.

One of the things he loves most about life in Pulaski County is his job. And the thing he loves most about his job? “Probably my coworkers,” he says. “Everybody’s a little laid back, and we give each other a hard time. It’s more like family.”

Speaking of family, Todd’s wife is also a custodian in the district, and they have a kindergartener and a first-grader that attend school here as well. Maybe that’s part of what motivates him to take such pride in his work. He mentions that his job is much more than just keeping the facilities clean. “There’s tons that we have to do – we’ve got to fix things,” he says, as an example. Another responsibility that Todd and his coworkers share is the maintenance of the school grounds, such as cutting the grass and keeping the landscaping in shape. His regular shift is 2:00 pm to 10:30 pm, and he often works later because of extracurricular activities, but he doesn’t mind.

Talking with Todd, it is easy to see that he finds Meridian to be a special place, and he is glad to be a part of the school family. During his time here, he has been witness to a lot of change, mostly for the better. “I’ve got to give the credit to the front workers, especially Mr. Green,” he enthuses. “Mr. Green did a wonderful job. He turned everything around,” he adds.

Nobody knows better, though, than Superintendent Jon Green that he did not do it all on his own. Much of the credit is owed to the conscientious and dedicated staff of Meridian CUSD #101, and Todd Steele could not be happier or more proud to count himself as part of that team.

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