The first thing one notices about Emmanuel Gilchrist is his winning smile and exceedingly positive attitude. Moving to California in 1971 from St. Paul, Minnesota, Emmanuel now lives in the Los Angeles area. He attended Sylmar High School and graduated in 1981. He is married and has two daughters, one in high school, and the other in college.
In the spring of 2007, Emmanuel completed an intensive eight-week custodial training program at Burbank Adult School (BAS). The program, developed in partnership with the Burbank Unified School District (BUSD) Maintenance and Operations Department, is designed to prepare students for work as custodians in large public or private institutions. Emmanuel gained the skills he needed to be successful in the custodial field through the program’s combination of theory and hands-on experience.
Once they have completed the program, participants are encouraged to apply for work with the BUSD. In fact, completing a district employment application is part of the course. Emmanuel’s instructor recommended him to the BUSD Facilities Department as an outstanding candidate for any custodial position in the District. Within a few weeks after completing the training, Emmanuel applied as a substitute custodian and was hired immediately. He worked at a number of school sites within the District and quickly earned a reputation for doing outstanding work. When a position for a part-time custodian became available at the Adult School in the summer of 2008, Emmanuel applied and was hired that August.
Less than a year after starting the part-time position, Emmanuel was invited to interview for the position of senior custodian. This is a position that normally requires several years of experience in the District working as a full-time custodian, but Emmanuel was hired as the full-time senior custodian for BAS in December of 2008.
The facility he is responsible for includes 30 classrooms, five offices, a student lounge and an auditorium. Recently, due to District budget cuts, his responsibilities now include an adjacent Off Campus Learning Center. Even with increased responsibility which has him doing the work of two custodians, Emmanuel continues to perform his duties with the utmost professionalism and care. He has an extraordinary commitment to performing to the best of his abilities, and always makes sure the little details are taken care of. He regularly asks staff members if they need anything and how he is doing, and no matter the request always replies, “I can take care of that for you!” Staff members constantly remark about his excellent job performance and feel fortunate to have Emmanuel at the Adult School.
Since joining the Adult School staff, Emmanuel has helped to transform the campus. He communicates regularly with site administration about facilities issues. This communication helps ensure the campus is clean, safe and orderly at all times. Visitors to the campus frequently remark on how good the school looks since he has joined the Adult School team.
Emmanuel represents what a successful adult education is all about. He set his career goals and has successfully achieved them. He is currently a member of the BAS California Council for Adult Education (CCAE) chapter, and has been involved in CCAE by volunteering his time and helping the organization with fundraising.
Emmanuel attributes his career success directly to his experience at BAS. An accessible campus, affordable class fees, good facilities, friendly, helpful and courteous office staff, strong teacher support, a comfortable learning environment and individualized instruction were all factors he says supported his success.
Emmanuel’s future plans include eventually being a day or evening custodial supervisor for the District. He is working with the current evening supervisor and learning all he can about the responsibilities of the position. The adult school staff has no doubt that Emmanuel will accomplish his professional goals.