• December 21WMS Boys Basketball Plays AMS today at 4:00 in AMS
  • October 16WMS softball team plays Avenel in the playoff game today at WHS, 6:00!
  • October 11WMS softball team plays FMS today at 4:15 at Colonia middle!
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The Warrior Messenger

The student news site of Woodbridge Middle School

The Warrior Messenger

The student news site of Woodbridge Middle School

The Warrior Messenger

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2023-2024 Support Person of the Year: Mr. Jeff

Jillian Peralta
Mr. Jeff expressing his thanks for winning the 2023-2024 Support Person of the Year!

Mr. Jeff, a custodian at Woodbridge Middle School, goes about his day doing an exceptional job cleaning the school and brightening the days of students and staff. He’s been working at WMS for almost a year. Through his actions, attitude, and work ethic, Mr. Jeff has proven to be a worthy winner of the 2023-2024 Support Person of the Year.

When Mr. Jeff found out about his win, he described it as anyone would, “a big surprise.” But being a hardworking school custodian can come with some challenges. He said, “It can sometimes feel like you’re maybe not seen or you know, your job might not be appreciated. But at this school everybody’s been so appreciative. So to be recognized like that, that is a great honor.” 

Some of his daily duties include: unlocking the doors, making sure everyone did their job, cleaning floors, bathrooms, glass, and walls, and boiler maintenance every 4 hours. There is one job that Mr. Jeff says is “the most challenging part of the day.” It is when students come in for lunch, the cafeteria. He says that “it requires the most attention.” 

Several students and teachers said that Mr. Jeff goes above and beyond in his job. When asked about his inspiration, he responded, “You kids, that’s who.” The most important thing to him is family. He has a 7th grade son in WMS and a daughter, who is in 11th grade at WHS. Seeing the students around the school, they remind him of his children. Everything he does is all for the kids. 

Apart from being at school, Mr. Jeff has plenty of things he likes to enjoy out of school. He enjoys listening to music and has a collection of records. Some of his other interests are NASCAR and watching football. 

When asked if he had something no one knows about him, he had two answers. He first replied, “I’ve been a vegan for 10 years.” Being a vegan comes with lots of restrictions. But Mr. Jeff says he loves it and “it’s not hard for me at all.” Mr. Jeff then said, “Something else no one knows about me is that I serve as an elder at my church. I am the vice president of the church council at Our Redeemer [Lutheran Church], in Fords. 

WMS principal, Dr Lott, gave insight into the voting process of the award. She explained, “In order to nominate or to pick a support person of the year, you have to be on a panel. We have a whole panel of teachers that actually come together and rate them on different areas. The funny thing is Mr. Jeff is actually on the panel. I had to have him leave the room during voting time so we could vote for him.” 

She also shared her opinion on Mr. Jeff, “Mr. Jeff is overall kindhearted, super personable, and definitely a papa bear at heart; he’s just a great guy.” 

Dr. Lott also added, “Mr. Jeff, thank you so much for what you have done for this building and for me.” 

Mr. Malmstrom, a teacher at WMS, stated, “I was unbelievably happy when he was called because I think that he deserves it…It kinda made me emotional because he does so much for the building that people don’t even realize that he does.” 

He then explained how Mr. Jeff has helped him out numerous times, with things like leaks and carrying books for him. When asked about Mr. Jeff’s personality, he said, “He is one of my favorite people to talk to in the cafeteria. Anytime that we are in there or even when he’s cleaning up after students, he’s always in a good mood, he’s always positive…He’s just one of those guys that you feel like you have known for your whole life when you are talking to him.”

Mr. Malmstrom also added, “Congratulations to Jeff. You are highly deserving of this award and I can’t wait for you to read this article.”

Mr. Miller, a social studies teacher, said, “It’s well deserved. He’s a great guy, he does a great job around the school. He’s always helpful so I think it was a great decision to give it to him.” He and Mr. Jeff share an interest in heavy metal and have discussed concerts they have been to. He had also said that Mr. Jeff never hesitates to help and “always tries to make time for everybody.”

Language arts and creative writing teacher, Mrs Douglas said, “I think he is the perfect candidate to win this. Mr. Jeff is always so kind, so helpful, and so respectful. She says during second period, she often jokes with Mr. Jeff. Mrs. Douglas said she thinks he is “such a joy here at Woodbridge Middle School.”

Eighth grade student, Sincere Lightner, said,  “Mr. Jeff, he’s a funny guy. He jokes around a lot. He’s a hard worker.” 

When asked about an experience with Mr. Jeff, he answered, “During the basketball season, there used to be days where I showed up really early. He really helped me, let me in [the school to practice].” Lightner said he feels Mr. Jeff deserves so much respect considering how much he has done for this school, students, and staff. 

Eighth grade student, Sarah Pachucki, said, “Mr. Jeff is really sweet and he’s really good at his job. He’s committed [to his job].” Pachucki is also a girl scout; she had explained how Mr. Jeff supported her and bought some of her girl scout cookies. She claims Mr. Jeff is “an overall nice and helpful guy. He definitely deserved [this award].”

Mr. Jeff has shown kindness, service, humor, and care all throughout the school. Personally, I would like to thank Mr. Jeff for the work that he does and for his positive personality. Congratulations to Mr. Jeff for winning the 2023-2024 Support Person of the Year! 

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