INFLUENCER OF THE WEEK: Abel Romero Rodriguez, Maxey Elementary

The custodian at Maxey takes pride in keeping the campus looking nice and always is willing to help others.

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Abel Romero Rodriguez is the resident custodian at Maxey Elementary School in Winter Garden. His job is to ensure the school is clean and ready to open safely each day. He also is ready to deliver materials, restock and assist the school team in any way needed.

“When you see Mr. Romero, he always greets you with a smile,” said principal Carletta Davis-Wilson. “His positive attitude and relationship building can be seen as he takes the time to speak to our students/staff whether he is cleaning in the hallways or assisting in the cafeteria. He is one of our hidden gems at Maxey.”

What brought you to your school?

I heard it was one of the best schools in the area to work.

What do you love most about your school?

I love how school administration and my custodial teammates treat me as a person.

What is your motivation?

I am motivated to work hard for our students. They deserve to attend school in a clean and friendly environment.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is making students smile. Kind words go a long way to help students strive to do their best.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I spend time with my grandkids and enjoy watching sports.

Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?

Maria Luisa, my Spanish teacher, because she always took time to recognize students.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I wanted to be a baseball player. When I was young, I played in Little League in Cuba.

What is your favorite children’s book and why?

My favorite children’s book is "The Wonderful Things You Will Be." The message of the book is positive, and it inspired me as a child.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are watching and playing sports. I love to play with my grandkids.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

If I could have a superpower, I wish I could make all kids happy. I love kids and being around them to teach and guide them.

If you could only listen to three bands or artists for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?

Elvis Presley, Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion because I enjoy listening to classic music.

What was your go-to lunch as an elementary student? Any favorite snacks or special treats you remember?

My go-to lunch is congri rice (black beans and rice) and fresh fruits.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because I get to thank God for everything received.

Who was your best friend when you were in school and why? Are you still in touch?

Oscarito, and yes, we are still best friends of 50-plus years.

What were your extracurricular activities as a student? Did you win any accolades or honors?

I played baseball when I was a student. I won Best Student of the Month a couple of times.

How long have you been at your school and with OCPS?

I have been with OCPS in general since October 2013 and with Maxey since October 2021.


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