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The Man Behind The Scenes

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History has a tendency of repeating itself and VHS’s new head custodian Miques Valle, known around the school as “Q,” is no exception to this old saying.

Q, who graduated from Passaic Valley Regional High School in 1995, says some of his best memories occurred during high school.  And now, 22 years later, he’s back on the high school scene but this time with a new family – the maintenance staff in Verona. He reflects fondly on the lack of responsibilities and the ease of what it was like to be a teenager. Though these years were fleeting, Q’s involvement in all of the school dances and various activities made lifelong memories.

Growing up, Q did not picture himself in the maintenance and facilities field. When he was young he always wanted to be a veterinarian, but his career path completely changed during a routine trip to the mall with his buddies. His friends noticed that the local mall happened to be looking for help in their maintenance department and coaxed Q to take the job. At 21 years old, Q started his journey through all different sides of maintenance and the responsibilities that it entails. This first job made him truly fall in love with maintenance and facility services as he developed into the mall’s assistant supervisor of maintenance. Q never turned his back on his newfound passion, though he searched for better hours and a much more community-based environment than malls could offer him.

This search for a better environment ultimately landed him in Verona. What  sets Verona apart from Q’s other jobs is what he describes as the very close-knit community inside and outside of the education system. Though Q has only been working at VHS for a little over a year and a half, he feels that if he has the opportunity, this could be his permanent home away from home. The commute is much more bearable for him because he only lives a few towns over in Clifton and the hours are much more manageable for his schedule. Besides the logistics of the job, Q is also very inspired by the community’s involvement in the school. Q believes that one of Verona’s greatest displays of community support is the town’s involvement at graduation. At Q’s prior job in South Orange, the graduating class was four times the size of any of Verona’s graduating classes, but he noted that Verona had a far greater attendance. This separates Verona from all other towns Q had worked at in the past because the support system is undeniable.

People that quietly and humbly work behind the scenes tend to be the most overlooked, despite the importance of their roles, but without them entire systems would fall apart. Though Q thinks that it is a “long shot” that anyone would care about the life of a custodian  at VHS, he’s wrong – we know his his importance to the school is undeniable.


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The Man Behind The Scenes