Custodian Ron Honore receives Cornerstone Award

Custodian Ron Honore received the Cornerstone Award at a ceremony hosted by the Walnut Valley Unified School District Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Pomona Mining Company.

Since teachers, counselors and administration are often appreciated for their efforts, the award was created to acknowledge the classified staff in the district, which includes those who work in food services, transportation and maintenance. During the ceremony, attendants had dinner as honorees were presented with the awards.

“It’s important to recognize [classified staff] for going above and beyond. It’s a good morale booster, and it makes them work harder,” Administrative Assistant Monique Estrada said. “When a classified staff’s work is valued, the satisfaction and productivity rises. It’s always good to keep that momentum going.”

Honore works as the nightly custodian, which involves giving out information at daily meetings, issuing overtime, securing the campus and ensuring the overall operation of the school is going well. At the beginning of the day, he works at South Hills High School from 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Then works at Walnut High School from 2:15 to 10:45 p.m.

“[Honore] is always in a good mood and smiling, but people don’t realize he’s working 16-hour days [for] five days a week. He’s working two full-time jobs, and people need to recognize that,” Principal Ryan Maine said. “So if they do talk to him or see him struggling, they’re able to [help]. Everyone has a story, and Ron’s story is pretty cool.”

After working two jobs consistently for thirty one years, Honore received recognition with his children and grandchildren in the audience at the ceremony.

“[Classified staff are] the backbone of the school district. Teachers do education, but we’re the ones who keep the school running and making sure we have a clean campus,” Honore said. “I tell my team that any accolades I receive is due to their hard work. I always tell them, ‘You guys make me or break me.’ Ultimately, I need my team to support me.”

By Natalie Cheng, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of Ryan Maine