INFLUENCER OF THE WEEK: Phyllis Crittenden, Orange Technical College — West Campus

Phyllis Crittenden is the custodial crew leader at Orange Technical College — West Campus.

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Phyllis Crittenden is the custodial crew leader at Orange Technical College — West Campus. In her role, Crittenden leads a winning team that ensures the cleanliness of the campus. She received the Stellar Award for her service in 2019 and was Support Person of the Year for  2021-22. 

“Phyllis takes an immense amount of pride in keeping our school clean and presentable,” Scott Weidl, senior director at the school, said. “She knows that clean classrooms and working areas have a direct effect on people’s morale and attitude, from our faculty and staff members to our students. Phyllis is the crew leader of our custodial team. While she serves in a leadership capacity, Phyllis approaches her job with a servant’s heart with a strong desire to help others. Phyllis is universally loved and respected around our campus because she is so approachable and positive.”

What brought you to your school?

I had heard great things about Orange Technical College — West Campus and was looking forward to working in a school environment where I could serve others. 

What do you love most about your school?

I love the staff at West Campus, because we work as a team to make our school great, and we truly care about one another.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

It’s rewarding to know that I make a difference — not just in the cleanliness of our school but (also) in those opportunities where I’m able to help a teacher or student in need.

What would you be if you weren’t in this profession?

My passion is to be of service. So, I will always be in a position that involves helping others. 

Who influences you?

I admire Michelle Obama for how she has raised her two girls and works to give back to others.

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

My eighth-grade English teacher was always kind and helped me both in and out of school, but more important than anything is she really took the time to listen to me. 

What is your favorite children’s book and why?

I loved reading all of the books by Dr. Seuss! The rhythm and flow and the imagery of his words fascinated me. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love spending time with my family — whether we are relaxing at the beach or just sharing a meal. 

If you could dine with any famous person, past or present, who would it be and why?

I would choose to dine with Yolanda Adams. I’d love to fellowship with her and hear the personal inspiration behind her songs that have greatly inspired me.

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

Out of all the superpowers, I would choose healing, because then I could heal everyone that is hurting, physically and mentally, and bring joy to their life. 

If you could only listen to three bands or artists, who would they be and why?

If I could only listen to three, it would be Kenny G., Yolana Adams and The Gap Band. Kenny G. has that relaxing vibe, while Yolanda Adams is inspirational, and The Gap Band brings that funk to make you dance.

What was your go-to lunch and favorite snack as an elementary student?

Fridays at Phyllis Wheatley were the best days to be at school! The cafeteria served that delicious square pizza and cold chocolate milk. 

What is your favorite holiday and why?

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I love the fall season, from the colors to the weather. Most of all, I love preparing and sharing a meal with my family and friends. 

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

My best friend in school was Rodney. He was always there for me through the good and bad times. Rodney is still my best friend to this day, and he’s also my husband. 

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

In school, I was in the band and played the clarinet. I loved the excitement of performing in concerts and at pep rallies. 



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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