Inside Look: Getting to know campus custodians

Did you know Carmel High’s custodians stay on campus until 11 p.m. every school night? And there are probably many other things you didn’t know about these hard-working custodians. Here’s a look at four of Carmel High’s campus custodians:

Jose Renteria is one of the many dedicated custodians responsible for keeping CHS so clean.

Renteria lived in Lincoln Heights, Calif., from the time he was 6. Shortly after graduating from high school, Renteria joined the U.S. Army, working in automotive mechanics for nine years.

After retiring from the Army, Renteria spent the following three years doing janitorial work in Seaside at a private company and for a pet store. Renteria then found custodial work at Monterey Peninsula College for five years and was, soon after, hired at CHS and has now been working with Carmel Unified School District for ten years.

“I applied for the position in July of 2004, and after two interviews they said I was a good fit for the job,” Renteria says. “I enjoy working here. I have no complaints.”

Ezequel Melgoza., who grew up in Mexico, started working in the fields picking strawberries when he was 17. He continued his work in the fields for 14 years.

Melgoza was hired as a custodian for CHS and has now been working here for 14 years.

“I really like working here, but my favorite part of the day is going home at 11 o’clock,” Melgoza chuckles.

Melgoza is now 49, married and is a proud father of two sons named Ezequel Jr., 20, and Alejandro, 14.

Melgoza and his family live in Salinas, and aside from enjoying his work here at CHS, he is a big football fan. Melgoza’s favorite team is the New England Patriots.

Miguel Barreto Sanchez also grew up in Mexico. He was moved from his home in Mexico to San Jose when he was 16.

In the ‘80s, Sanchez found janitorial work in San Jose and at the same time took on another job as a cook at a Mexican restaurant. Sanchez enjoyed working as a cook and continues to cook at home. He especially loves to cook seafood.

Sanchez switched careers in 1999 when he moved to Wisconsin and worked in asbestos and construction.

“I wanted to try and change things up in my life back then,” Sanchez explains.

After moving to Salinas, Sanchez applied for custodial work at CUSD. He was hired as a permanent full-time employee and has now been working at CHS for seven years.

“I was one of the lucky ones,” Sanchez says. “They saw a lot of strengths in my application and résumé, and I was very happy when I was hired.”

When Sanchez isn’t working or cooking, he enjoys spending time with his family. Sanchez is a father of four kids, ages ranging from 16 to 32, and a grandfather of six.

Rowel Martinez has been working here for three years and was previously working for Monterey County.

Martinez was hired full-time after a custodian had retired and now works at both the middle school and the high school. Martinez is the only custodian who works at both schools.

“I like working at the middle school a little more than the high school because it is a lot quieter, and there aren’t as many events there,” Martinez says.

Martinez’s favorite part of the work day is during the evenings.

“When they leave that’s when we can really get to work,” Martinez says. “I really enjoy my work here. Everyone is very nice and easy to work with.”

-Elexis Perez