"I LOVE MY JOB AND KIDS," SAYS MR. TOOKES OF SUMTER COUNTY PRIMARY
MR. TOOKES AT WORK AT SUMTER PRIMARY
"I LOVE MY JOB AND KIDS," SAYS MR. TOOKES OF SUMTER COUNTY PRIMARY As morning and noon meals are served in the cafeteria of Sumter County Primary School, Mr. Edward Tookes, a custodian since June 2011, never ceases to clean the cafeteria floors and tables. Dressed in his bright SCS blue knit shirt, Tookes is constantly sweeping paper and dangerous food left by the youngest students in the school district. "There is an occasional accident by some hasty student who does not carry their tray with both hands. We are alert to these accidents and pride ourselves in quick removal of the tray and food," said Tookes. Between class seating, Mr. Tookes is carefully cleaning the empty tables with disinfectant spray and paper towels.
When asked why he never slows at his work, Tookes replied, "I love my job and I love to speak to and set an example to these youngsters," smiled Tookes. After his early retirement from the U.S. Navy, after 15 years of service, Mr. Tookes worked for Caravelle Boats until his employment with Sumter County Primary School. "I want students at Sumter County Primary to see me working. Hopefully they will work hard as they grow older. I try to only stop to listen to students as they share some of their life with me. Some kids are adult starved. My time spent visiting with them is beneficial to both the kids and to me," shared a driven Mr. Tookes.
"Adults at Sumter County Primary are good to me. I feel welcomed each day I come to work. I have developed some great new friends. Any adult likes to be praised. Every day, I work to find a way to praise a kid for doing a good job. I like my job and want these kids and adults to learn a positive work ethic," said Tookes.
Here, Edward sweeps to prevent a possible accident. Wherever Tooks moves during the meal hours, both his broom, dustpan, cleaner and towels are within reach.