Custodian’s roots run deep at West Lincoln Elementary

Brandon Rogers’ family tree is firmly planted at West Lincoln Elementary School and the surrounding neighborhood. And those roots run deep.

He works as a custodian at West Lincoln, the school he attended as a fifth-grader. His two children attend West Lincoln. His wife went to West Lincoln and so did her dad and uncles. His two brothers go to West Lincoln, as do nephews and nieces and the children of longtime friends.

“It’s pretty awesome, when you go to do something in the hallway and you see your son washing his hands and he gives you a big high five or a ‘Hey, dad’ - that’s pretty nice,” Rogers said. “It makes you feel good. It makes you want to get up and go to work.”

Rogers moved to Lincoln from Texas in 2005. He only attended West Lincoln for one semester but the experience had a lasting impact. Current West Lincoln Principal Scott Schwartz was principal at the time and helped Rogers with the adjustment.

“He definitely touches a lot of kids’ hearts and I was one of them,” Rogers said. “He definitely made the move a lot easier, comforting me and I do remember him checking up on me throughout the day. I can still see him doing things like that to this day.”

Schwartz has only some memory of Rogers’ short time as a West Lincoln student; he has much more to say about him as a staff member. Rogers says he likes to go above and beyond his job description and Schwartz agrees.

“It’s great to have someone working in your building who is so fully invested in everything they do to make a difference for the school and just to make this place run like it does,” Schwartz said, later adding, “The kids know Brandon and he knows about them. He’s always positive. The way he redirects kids, he understands kids in a way that not everybody does...He’s able to just have that presence that we need - that every school needs.”

Rogers also understands the West Lincoln neighborhood, his home for most of his life. That’s a tremendous asset, Schwartz said. 

“This summer I would drive through the neighborhood and he would say, ‘Hey, I heard you were in the neighborhood last night,’” he said. “He gives me a pulse of what’s going on and how everyone is doing. It’s great to have him to be able to get that instant feedback about what’s going on.”

Rogers said he and his wife could move to a different neighborhood. He could choose to work at a different school. But West Lincoln and the surrounding community are home. 

“Long story short, we didn’t need to get up and go somewhere else. Sending my kids here, knowing that the principal was my principal - it feels like home.”

Published: September 2, 2020, Updated: September 3, 2020