Staff Spotlight: Mike LaJoy
Posted on 02/09/2024
Mike LaJoy at EHHS

Staff Spotlight: Mike LaJoy

Mike LaJoy is the head night custodian for the EHHS and CIBA campus. In his role, he also has additional facilities responsibilities and duties throughout the district to make sure things run smoothly and buildings are ready for the next day of school. Through his leadership, problem-solving abilities, and work ethic he takes great care of not only the buildings, but also the students and staff.

“Mike is extremely reliable. He's one of those kinds of guys where if you ask him to do something, he'll go above and beyond what you ask him,” said Acting Director of Facilities Jim Rovezzi. “He projects himself so positively and he knows the campus extremely well, so he's our go-to person at night for almost everything facilities- wise.”

LaJoy was nominated for the Staff Spotlight by both EHHS First Assistant Principal Ed Lavoie and CIBA Principal Michelle Marion.

“Mike is what East Hartford Public Schools is about. He's always there for anybody and everybody, students, staff,” said Lavoie. “What he does for our extracurricular activities between [EHHS] and CIBA is really amazing. Between sports, concerts, last week we had we had a family movie night for one the elementary schools here, and just making sure everyone gets taken care of and they get what they need in order to make a great experience for all our families of East Hartford.”

Marion said, “Mike's leadership, organization and work ethic is exceptional. He constantly problem solves issues during the evening hours with his team to make work in the morning better for the staff at CIBA and EHHS.”

Learn more about Mr. LaJoy in the Q&A below.

How long have you been working for EHPS and what other roles did you have before becoming the head custodian?

LaJoy: I've been working for the district going on 14 years. I came in as a custodian and worked my way up as head custodian.

I started off at Mayberry School and then I transferred here to East Hartford High School, and I've been here ever since. I worked as a sub for quite a while to get in. It wasn't easy to get in. So I worked there, and then I transferred to here.

It's been a great time. I meet a lot of people. Every day is different, you know? Some days are challenging more than others, but I love it here.

Was there a reason you applied to work in East Hartford?

LaJoy: I grew up in East Hartford. I graduated here from East Hartford High School. I've been here my whole life. So, you know, I really enjoy seeing how this building has changed since I've been here.

14 years into your career here, what keeps you coming in every day?

LaJoy: Every day it's something new, a new challenge throughout the district as well. There are problems with other schools with leaks or anything, you just go through the proper channels, speak to maintenance, and they can help you out in any way. Our supervisors as well, it's a great team.

What are your responsibilities? What does a typical shift look like for you?

LaJoy: So a typical shift is we come in, we have a brief meeting, we give out overtime, we talk about things that need to be addressed in people's areas, make sure the building is safe and secure for the next day for schools to open safely.

I'm a floater as well, so I go around and fix necessary needs that need to be fixed or addressed, filling work orders for teachers or staff members that need things to be fixed in their area. Or if it's something out of my range, I send it over to maintenance and they take care of it.

Working in the evening, we have a list of events that are happening daily. We use rSchool and it really breaks down every room and area that's being used. So it can go from tables, set ups, graduations, etc.

What does it mean to you to be recognized for the great work you’re doing?

LaJoy: I appreciate that. It is special. You know, every day I come in, I try to do the best I can. Anyone that needs help, we help out, and that's what we're here for, to make the place safe.

It’s rewarding. When you come into a building and you see the floors, you know, nicely buffed, windows are clean, etc. It makes you feel good knowing that the students are going to come in the next day and have a clean building too.