The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

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Wonderful Women in Maintenance

A behind-the-scenes look at the people who work to keep Hockaday’s campus sparkling
Deborah+Monahan+and+Maria+Cendejas+pose+for+a+photo+in+the+midst+of+the+chaos+of+their+day.
Melinda Hu
Deborah Monahan and Maria Cendejas pose for a photo in the midst of the chaos of their day.

When walking into Hockaday each morning, we are lucky to be surrounded by the impeccable cleanliness of our facilities and buildings.

Kathy Perry, Administrative Assistant of the Maintenance Department; Deborah Monahan, Housekeeping Manager; and Maria Cendejas, Housekeeper, are just three of the many women who help ensure that the campus is beautiful and spotless each and every day.

According to Data USA, there were 592,687 people in the U.S. workforce in maintenance and repair, but only 4.22% of them are women.

“I work with mostly men,” Perry said. “It was challenging to work with all men at first, but I love working with my team.”

All three have been working in maintenance for many years, but they especially love working at Hockaday.

“I enjoy my job and I enjoy working here because I like all the different events – preparing and cleaning for them – and getting to watch some of the events,” Monahan said. “I think it’s amazing, and I like the people, atmosphere and challenges.”

Perry also enjoys working in the all-girls environment.

“For the first 12 years that I worked at Hockaday, I worked as an advisor in addition to working in facilities,” Perry said. “I thoroughly enjoyed watching them grow and mature through the four years I had each advisory. That has empowered me, as I believe in women being independent and strong.”

Due to the capricious nature of each day and the challenges that present themselves – ranging from a broken pipe to a power outage –  their schedules fluctuate each day.

“Every day is different and there is constant change,” Perry said. “All kinds of things happen in maintenance.”

Cendejas’ routine naturally changes depending on challenges that arise, but she has a general outline for her schedule that reflects the flow of her day. Each week, Cendejas works 40 hours.

“I clean the bathrooms, glass, take out the trash and if an incident presents itself, I got to clean it,” Cendejas said. “My routine’s purpose is for everything to be flawless.”

For Perry, she says she acts as a resource hub for all departments and employees. Perry has a go-with-the-flow approach.

“I just roll with things as they come and don’t get upset with things that happen,” she said. “I’ve seen it all in my time working in maintenance, so I’ve learned to just deal with them as part of the job.”

Perry’s job keeps her busy and ensures that she is not ever bored.

“There are a lot of things I have to keep up with, which is a good thing because I don’t like being bored,” Perry said. “It’s never the same in maintenance. Always different.”

Monahan loves to see the progress from planning and preparing for events all the way to seeing the events in progress. Monahan takes all the calls for housekeeping, works with night cleaners to make sure all spaces are cleaned, monitors and helps with clean-up for events and orders the stock for cleaning.

Monahan organizes the day housekeeping crew to ensure that the restrooms, gyms and all areas get cleaned.

“We do everything,” Monahan said. “I care about the look of the campus and try to do the best job I can as manager.”

Cendejas has worked at Hockaday for six years and has worked in the maintenance industry for 12 years. For Cendejas, her favorite part of the job is making sure everything is squeaky clean for Hockaday students, faculty and staff. She also loves to be around different people.

“I like to do what I can for cleaning in all departments so that all areas are perfect,” Cendejas said.

Monahan also said the most important part of her job is making sure all areas are clean and look good all the time.

“I make sure bathrooms, hallways, classrooms, lounges and windows are clean,” Monahan said.

Similar to Monahan, Cendejas values satisfying Hockaday students, faculty, staff and visitors with her work.

“I always want to do something well and for people to be happy with the work that I do,” Cendejas said.

The entire maintenance staff works to ensure that our school is clean and to make each student and staff member happy about Hockaday’s appearance.

“We all work hard and my whole staff tries to do the best job possible,” Monahan said.

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Melinda Hu, Staff Writer
Sarah Moskowitz, Staff Writer

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