HIGH 5

Morgan Elementary Custodian Acts as Mentor for Students

Apr 10, 2019, 6:37 AM | Updated: Apr 11, 2019, 6:10 am

KAYSVILLE, Utah — If you ask most kids to help you mop, clean tables or take out the trash, many may want to run the other direction. But at one elementary school in Kaysville, there is a group of kids who stay in at recess to do all of that and more.

They say they do it because they like to hang out with the elementary school’s custodian. He jokes with them, he listens to them and, above all, acts as their mentor.

On any given day at Morgan Elementary, you’ll find them helping the school’s custodian, Howard Pate, set up for lunch and clean up afterward.

“Sometimes our school is very difficult to take care of because of all the messes that we have, a lot of them from sixth-graders,” sixth-grader Robee Nielson says.

Fifth-grader Quinn Flitton says he realized what a mess he used to make.

“I used to be one of those kids make a big mess while eating, used to be. But until I started noticing the mess, I sort of stopped.”

Now, with other kids, he helps pick up those messes.

“I like just staying inside for recess to help him put away tables,” sixth-grader Honovi Warriner says.

Most of these kids give up their recess to hang out with Howard, as they call him.

Why? Because he listens — he asks about their day, and he laughs at their bad jokes.

“It’s been a joy to work with him. The connection he has with students, which you can see from talking to the students is phenomenal,” Principal Alisha Johnson says.

While the kids get a High 5 for being awesome, we wanted to give Howard a High 5 for being the mentor he is.

He says he doesn’t deserve it, but we disagree.

This High 5 may have been a surprise to Howard, but there was even bigger one to come: a $200 gift card from American Fork Credit Union.

“He’s kind of a celebrity around here. He walks into a room and everyone yells, ‘Howard!'” parent Alecia Finlinson says.

He may be a celebrity, but he sure is a humble one.

“I’m just trying to do a good job for the place and make everybody feel like they deserve to be here. I’m grateful for the recognition,” he says.

And this school is grateful for Howard.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

High 5

(KSL TV)...
Dan Spindle, KSL TV

HIGH 5: Utah Group Packs Thousands Of Bags To Feed Kids Through Summer Months

There are Utah children who won't go hungry thanks to some caring volunteers with USANA Kids Eat.
1 year ago
Chris Schunk is a special education teacher at Snowcrest Junior High School. (KSL TV)...
Haley Smith, Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

High 5: Special Ed Teacher Treats Students As People First

Students and parents at Snowcrest Junior High couldn’t imagine a day without special education teacher Chris Schunk as they navigated the highs and lows of the last school year in the middle of the pandemic.  
1 year ago
Crossing Guard Verl Creager makes sure to wave at every car, every day. (KSL TV)...
Haley Smith & Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

High 5: Crossing Guard’s Kind Gesture Brightens Community

Verl Creager is the school crossing guard at Valley Elementary School. Many don't know his name, but they know who he is because of a simple gesture. He makes sure to wave at every car that passes by.
1 year ago
Photo provided by Sticky Chicken...
Dan Spindle & Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

High 5: Cooking Up Life Lessons That Stick At Sticky Bird

Sticky Bird in Farmington seems like any other fast, casual chicken restaurant, but what happens behind the scenes is the real recipe for a better life. 
1 year ago
(KSL TV)...
Shara Park, KSL TV

High 5: Utahns Step Up To Help Clear The Snow

During the recent winter storms, countless Utahns stepped up to help both neighbors and strangers clear snow.
1 year ago
...
Grant Weyman & Matthew Jacobson, KSL TV

High 5: Grant Elementary Grateful For Attentive Principal

At Grant Elementary School in Murray, there are some very grateful people who appreciate their principal. 
1 year ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Morgan Elementary Custodian Acts as Mentor for Students