Mr. Joe Maffuci, the head custodian was nominated in the National Education Association’s (NEA) Classroom Superheroes program, which allows parents, students, and community members to show educators and support staff the support they deserve.
Mr. Maffuci’s backstory explains:
Joseph Maffucci is a great example of the impact that a custodian can have on a school. Through his unwavering commitment and inspiring presence at Bradford Elementary School in Montclair, New Jersey, Maffucci dispels and debunks the stereotype that custodians are somehow invisible.
“Our building could not operate without Mr. Maffucci,” says Principal Naomi Kirkman. “I depend on Mr. Maffucci’s skill, commitment, hard work and feedback on a daily basis.”
As head custodian, Maffucci works closely with the school’s other maintenance workers repairing broken tables and chairs, replacing rotted pipes, running the boilers, spreading mulch, mowing the lawn, solving electrical problems, and shoveling snow off sidewalks. They are everywhere.
After 14 years with Montclair Public Schools, the last 10 at Bradford, the level of respect and admiration for Maffucci is perhaps best exemplified by Axelrod’s class of 22 kindergarteners. From among many nominees this year they unanimously voted Maffucci as the person they wanted to honor during the school’s Hero Assembly in January.
While other classes acknowledged such luminaries as President Barack Obama, John Lennon, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Jessica Rees (child who started “Joy Jars,” which helps kids with brain cancer), Red Cross workers, police officers, firefighters and military personnel, Maffucci was the only one honored with a rap tune (listed below) highlighting his contributions at school. Another thing: he didn’t have a clue that the children had picked him as their hero until they started rapping:
Mr. Maffucci’s Rap
Written by Kindergarten Axelrod (KA)
We’re KA and we’re here to say …
We picked a really great hero today.
He takes care of school, which is really cool,
if something breaks he has the right tool.
He clears a path when there is snow, but
don’t stop now there’s a lot to go.
When a tree branch falls we don’t worry,
we know our hero will come in a hurry.
He checks on cracks and leaks and drips,
just to make sure that no one slips.
So by now you’ve figured it out,
let’s all give our hero a shout!
Congratulations to Mr. Maffucci and Bradford elementary Schol for having a Classroom Hero!