It’s not easy keeping a school clean and presentable at all times when nearly 600 students, faculty, and staff fill every room for multiple hours each day, but the maintenance crew for TDG Facilities manages to do just that. Crew member Keith Crooks, who has been with TDG for eight years, has become a favorite among students and said McNicholas is his favorite location to work.
“The students and their stories motivate me every day,” Crooks said. Just recently, Crooks was assigned to McNick full time. Previously he would be assigned to different schools around Cincinnati, especially in the summer when he would be in charge of redoing the floors for the following school year. Students knew he worked for other schools, but Rockets would always ask him to stay at McNick full time. “Even though [he] is supposed to eventually leave, he enjoys his job here and all the students love him,” freshman Megan Longmore said.
“I give him something like a mint after every lunch and he daps me up. He knows my name too,” freshman Ethan Detter said. Crooks comes to the kids to talk to them during study halls, lunches, and anytime he sees them in the hallway. He does remember who someone is and will talk to them about things they’ve told him.
“Keith has the ability to differentiate each student from each other and if you have something that pertains to only you, even the littlest thing or littlest detail he will remember it and he will bring that back up. He genuinely cares about you to the point he will make a conversation at any point in time as long as you see him. If he’s in the building you will talk to Mr. Keith,” sophomore Audrey Hurlburt said. “He doesn’t discriminate who he talks to, like it could be a shy kid, it could be someone he talks to everyday, it could be someone he never met. It does not matter. He will talk to anyone and everyone, and he will genuinely care and listen.”
Even the McNick faculty and staff want to see Crooks every day. Librarian Chelsea Almer said, “He’s always upbeat and anything I ever ask for him to help with, he jumps right in.”
Study hall monitor and building substitute Shawn Gillette, “He’s really friendly. I think he interacts great with all the students here.”
Cafeteria manager Laura Sperr added, “I love our janitor [Keith]. He’s a very good man. He comes in and sweeps for us, and he’s a team player with us.”
“It’s a nice place to work at,” Crooks said. “I get to see [the students] all the time. I can help [you] and [you] can help me. That’s why I love working at McNick.”
When Crooks isn’t working at McNick, he’s at home with his two fluffy Chihuahuas, BB and Bella.