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Custodian’s Craft

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Custodian’s Craft

Parkway Central Custodian, Donald Keith Styles with a floor cleaner.

Parkway Central Custodian, Donald Keith Styles with a floor cleaner.

Sydney Stahlschmidt

Parkway Central Custodian, Donald Keith Styles with a floor cleaner.

Sydney Stahlschmidt

Sydney Stahlschmidt

Parkway Central Custodian, Donald Keith Styles with a floor cleaner.

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At 2:30 p.m. as students are flooding out the doors, Donald Keith Styles is just starting his day. Styles, a hard working custodian currently working at PCH. He has been working here for one year and around two months. After having worked at his past job for 40 years and having been retired for two years, he knew it was time to start something new.
“My brother works in the transportation department and told me they are always looking for people here. He told me if you’re looking for something to do, and my wife didn’t want me sitting at home doing nothing, so here I am,” Styles said.
Growing up, Styles never really knew what he wanted to do and so his dad decided to get him a job at a company. Styles worked at the St Louis Metallizing Company and was a flame spray specialist where he specialized codings for aircraft engines and heavy industrial. He also worked with things like robotics, power plants, traveling, and more, throughout his 40 years at the company.
Not only has Styles had the two jobs but he had many over the years. For several years he even worked as a softball coach, an umpire, and even has been in martial arts for a very long time. Styles has been working with martial arts for over 25 years now and has even earned a third degree black belt, which is what he spent most of his time working on.
“I even made sure my kids were involved in martial arts. I think it’s a good lesson to teach themselves self respect and respect for others,” Styles said.
Styles has also been married for almost 42 years now, has two children named Natalie and Emily, and even one grandchild. One of his children worked as a National Guard for nine years and is currently working at the Missouri Historical Society as a Security Officer. While the other is working at the Saving Caterpillar Company as an IT Specialist. Styles has also made sure to follow certain values to try to be the best person they can be.
“In life I live off a few simple rules. Be kind to others, persevere in what you do, and honesty is always the best policy,” Styles said.
Anyone who has ever had an encounter with him, would know that Styles always has something nice to say to everyone. Styles not only enjoys the work but really enjoys the environment at Parkway Central. Especially the kind students and teachers who he believes are all very nice and courteous.
“Everybody refers to me as sir which is really nice. It’s great to see that the system seems to work, and even though the news is always saying how bad everything is, it’s really not that bad at all,” Styles said.
After working here for a while now and picking up on the habits of the students, Styles claims the majority of things he sees are positive and he can really only see one minor fault.
“I would simply like students to pick up after themselves better, but I know this will always be a recurring problem because I was the exact same way. But there are always going to be little divots and things don’t go quite the way you would like to see them and the things I see are very minor,” Styles said.
Styles said there is only one thing that students should know not only about himself but through highschool and their entire lives.
“Don’t necessarily look at people as you see them at the time. Because everybody has their own special interests, everybody has done something that’s unusual, most likely. Don’t just judge people by what you see but take some time to learn what they are like,” Styles said.
The time working here for Styles, has been a complete different experience and he has no regrets.
“I really enjoy being here and the positives are very positive so I have no complaints,” Styles said.

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