School custodian, students decorate school courtyard for the holidays

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ELYRIA, Ohio — Step inside any elementary, middle or high school and you’ll probably agree school janitors often go unnoticed, but inside an Elyria elementary school, one head custodian in particular is making his presence known this holiday season in a big way.

I’ve always tried to give the best service I could.”

It is sometimes a thankless profession, still head custodian Terry Lewis takes pride in his job every day.

Working in the Elyria school district for the past 18-years, Lewis transferred to Windsor Elementary two years ago and immediately noticed a beautiful pine tree in the middle of the school’s courtyard.

Lewis said, “When I first came here, I was told the tree started out just a small, miniature tree.”

Now standing at roughly 18 feet tall, Lewis had the bright idea to dress it up with a string or two of lights.

“With the help of my maintenance crew and the carpenters and electricians we were able to take out some windows and get some power out here.”

The holiday joy quickly spread throughout the courtyard with students, in kindergarten through 5th grade, creating holiday decorations, then placing them on different trees, shrubbery and windows; custom made decorations coming from the school’s technology class.

“My dad’s mom’s old CD’s that were blank so we all wrote our names on the back and 2018 and we drew little pictures,” said 4th grader Katie Chachko.

The decorations also came from the student council and special needs students.

Art teacher Heather Hale said, “The students learned that it’s important to do nice things for other people and that we have things we can do to show kindness to others.”

Principal Miranda Roscoe said, “With winter, sometimes we get the winter blah’s. I think it’s really making everyone come together — they had to think of their theme for their area of the courtyard to decorate.”

By day and at night, this festive scene is bringing lots of smiles and cheer and it’s all thanks to one man who’s holiday spirit this season went viral.

Lewis adds, “I had great parents that would do whatever they could for me and I’ve kind of adapted that theory in my life to just help somebody if you can.”

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