By MATTHEW MENDES, JUSTEN NGUYEN and JOSHUA ZARATAIN
This feature does not focus on one single person at Orangewood High School, but three: Alfred Cabral, Mynel Shelton, and Cynthia Duran. Cabral and Shelton do the custodial work and Duran does the cafeteria work. They are staff workers who don’t get as much recognition due to the jobs they do around campus, but they deserve recognition because without them the Orangewood campus wouldn’t be what it is. All of three work hard to make Orangewood a positive place for everyone.
Mynel Shelton, custodian
Mynel Shelton, custodian at Orangewood High School, stands in front of a water fall garden on the Orangewood campus, an area staff and students find peaceful. Shelton is known for being friendly and conversational with anyone he meets. (MATTHEW MENDES/ Ethic News photo)
Matthew Mendes: What inspired you to become the person you are today?
Mynel Shelton: Initially I wanted to start working for the district. They had many departments. It was something I wanted to do. So, I applied and tested. A lot of the people that were working there were working as custodians. So naturally, I tried the position out. Working as a custodian started off as embarrassing, but it soon became very fulfilling for me. You get to know all kinds of people, students and staff. I am truly blessed working here.
Mendes: How long have you been working here and why did you choose Orangewood?
Shelton: In custodial work, the school typically chooses who they want to work there. I was selected by Orangewood to work, and accepted the position. I soon grew to love it here.
Mendes: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Shelton: Karaoke, racquetball, and chess are some of my passions in life.
Mendes: If you could have any car with money not being an issue, what car would you choose?
Shelton: I would go for an electric truck, from Rivian. Gas is too high nowadays.
Cynthia Duran, child nutrition services worker
Cynthia Duran is the child nutrition services worker that students see in the cafeteria daily for breakfast, snack and lunch at Orangewood High School. Students call her Ms. Cindy and describe her as “sweet,” “chill,” and “kind.” Orangewood custodian Mynel Shelton says that they also call her Cinderella. (Joshua Zatarain/ Ethic News photo)
Josh Zatarain: What inspired you to become the person you are today?
Cythnia Duran: My love for kids of all ages, as I used to be a daycare teacher for many years.
Zatarain: How long have you been working here and why did you choose Orangewood?
Duran: I was assigned to Orangewood and have been here for six years. When I was first assigned I didn’t want to come here but of course that changed and now I won’t leave Orangewood.
Zatarain: What do you like to do during your spare time?
Duran: I like to watch movies, read comedies. I like romance and my favorite movie is “Sleepless in Seattle.”
Zatarain: If you could have any car, with money not being an issue, what car would it be?
Duran: I would like a palisade SUV because I like SUVs.
Alfred Cabral, lead custodian
Alfred Cabral, lead custodian at Orangewood High School, stands in front of a student artwork of the school mascot. Students describe Cabral as friendly and hard-working. From before school to after school students see Cabral around campus helping people and working to keep the campus looking its best. (Justen Nguyen/ Ethic News photo)
Justen Nguyen: What inspired you to become the person you are today?
Alfred Cabral: My dad and his work ethic
Nguyen: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Cabral: I play the drums, when I was younger I played basketball, and I am also a concrete contractor.
Nguyen: How long have you been working here and why did you choose Orangewood?
Cabral: 11 years at Orangewood, because I wanted to work days instead of nights at RHS.
Nguyen: If you could have any car with money not being an issue, what car would you have?
Cabral: A Ferrari because when I was younger I had a poster of a Ferrari in my room.
Orangewood High School custodian Mynel Shelton, nutrition worker Cynthia Duran and custodian Alfred Cabral stand at the entrance of Orangewood on Texas St. in Redlands. (Matthew Mendes/ Ethic News photo)