Vikan's Frank Sandoval an unconventional and deserving Teacher of the Month pick

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — Vikan Middle School’s Head Custodian Frank Sandoval was surprised to learn he was the Brighton Chamber of Commerce’s Teacher of the Month during a school staff meeting Wednesday, April 30.

Sandoval has been working as a custodian in School District 27J for 39 years, and although his job title is different from others who routinely receive the honor, it didn’t stop Human Resources Specialist Caroline Wahlborg from nominating him.

Wahlborg said she nominated him because he has taught a number of people throughout his career and knows he’s influenced lives, so she felt he deserved a little recognition.

“As a custodian you’re not in front of students in a classroom all the time, but I know he has guided our student workers, he’s guided other staff members. There are people within this community who can remember Frank as the custodian at Vikan when they were going to school,” she said. 

Sandoval began working for School District 27J as a custodian at North Elementary School in 1975. He worked at North Elementary School until October 1977, when he was promoted to Head Custodian at Vikan Middle School, and has been there ever since. While at Vikan, he has worked under 10 administrators, and according to Wahlborg, “has done a fabulous job.”

Principal Trina Norris-Buck said Sandoval is very dedicated and has a lot of pride in what he does and a lot of pride in the school and that he will do whatever it takes to make the school the best that it can be. She said he truly is a caretaker not only of the school, but of the people inside the school.

“Frank is someone who genuinely cares for the people around him and the people he works with and I’ve been in education for 22 years and I’ve never worked with anybody like Frank,” she said. “He’s truly a good person, someone that you’d want to be your friend. 

Sandoval will be retiring from Vikan this year, and Norris-Buck said she, and even some of the staff, can’t imagine what the school will be like without him.