The three high school juniors were inside a school bus and school hadn’t started yet.
Rylie Morrow, Tiffany Schmidgall and Dawn Messner spent part of the afternoon of Aug. 22 cleaning a Hancock School District school bus.
“It’s the grossest job I’ve done all summer,” Morrow said of a day spent cleaning another bus.
The three students are members of a student crew that has been working for the school district this summer.
“We clean stuff, we clean classrooms…,” Messner said. The students work wherever they are needed from 8 a.m. until sometime between noon and 3 p.m., depending on the day.
Cleaning buses isn’t a favorite task.
The bus they cleaned on a prior day had mold that grew in the bus over the summer. Buses sit in a dark garage throughout the summer, which can cause mold, Morrow said.
“It was disgusting,” Schmidgall said.
The crew thoroughly cleaned the bus with bleach. The bus they were cleaning on Aug. 22 didn’t appear to have mold but it was dirty.
They brought buckets of water with soap into the bus. They started cleaning the seats rubbing the backs and fronts and remarking about how buses can get dirty.
Judy Van Eps supervises the students. “They all like to work,” she said of the trio of Aug. 22 workers. “I have a hard time getting them to go home. They always ask ‘What else do we have to do?’”
Van Eps has supervised a student work crew for two years but said the summer work program has existed for at least four years.
The students who clean the school and buses get a renewed appreciation for the school facilities, Van Eps said.
“It helps to know how hard people work to keep it clean,” Van Eps said.
Cleaning buses may not be the best part of the job but there are other better tasks.
“Sorting papers in the office. That was the best one. I (really) enjoyed that,” Messner said.
The students have a few more days to work before school starts on Sept. 3.