Hundreds volunteer for West Ada Community Cleanup Day

At least 100 volunteers showed up at schools in the West Ada School District on Saturday to mow, trim, weed and otherwise prepare the grounds for the first day of school. The effort was part of the West Ada Community Cleanup Event, organized by the district to help compensate for its understaffed grounds maintenance team.

West Ada is Idaho’s largest school district with 58 schools and at least 40,000 students, but it employs only eight gardeners in the entire district. With such a shortfall in staff, District Superintendent Derek Bub called on community members to help fill the void at the community cleanup event.

“They are working hard, doing the best they can, but they need help,” said Bub of the district’s eight-person field team. “It really takes a village for a school to open smoothly.”

The superintendent volunteered at Mountain View High School at Saturday’s event alongside parents, administrators and students, including the school’s new student body president, Camden Hyde.

“I love Mountain View and I love West Ada,” Hyde said. “It’s my school and I think it’s really important to make it beautiful for myself and for others.” Hyde also recruited students from the school’s student council and National Honor Society to volunteer at the event.

Before and after: Volunteers trimmed trees and pulled weeds in front of Mountain View’s main entrance to prepare for the start of the school year.

At Meridian High School, David Stay volunteered alongside his children and their grandparents, who were visiting Idaho from Salem, Utah. The family said they are trying to help as many West Ada schools as possible. They started at Renaissance High School and planned to finish at Barbara Morgan Elementary.

“We think it’s important to support public schools and be part of the community,” Stay said.

Lisa Jensen was one of 20 other volunteers at Lewis and Clark Middle School. She said she believed it was the community’s responsibility to look after her school just as she would look after her own home.

“It’s a massive setup, and you only have a limited budget,” Jensen said. “That leaves volunteers. That’s how things are done. »

A district administrator helped clean the main entrance to Lewis and Clark Middle School.

Dozens of others cleared the Renaissance High parking lot, including the school’s music coach, Andrew Peck. He said he believed the community effort was a positive investment in the school.

“It’s good that the staff, community, families and administration are coming together and putting in some spit and sweat for the school,” Peck said. “Education is the backbone of our society, I believe that 100%. Families and communities need to invest in education and I think a lot of misconceptions about what education is and what that it is not from people who are not here today.

Peck’s wife, Kamille, works at McMillan Elementary, another West Ada school. She spent part of the morning there and headed for Renaissance once the work was finished.

“It’s been super cool to see the community come together and take care of our buildings and invest,” she said. “Community investment is really important to our schools, especially right now.”

West Ada is looking to fill vacancies in its grounds maintenance team. More information can be found on the district job site.

Sadie Ditteber

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