TPO celebrates Boys in Blue

ZACH WATSON, STAFF WRITER

On Jan. 16, the Trinity Parent’s Organization held a luncheon for the Boys in Blue to give thanks to the members of the maintenance department. While monitoring air conditioning and flipping fuses may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the school, these tasks are an integral part of keeping Trinity Prep running. The Boys in Blue are and always have been just the men for the job.

“Trinity Parent’s Organization, recognizing the importance of the department and appreciating how helpful the department members are for the smooth operation of the school, prepare this special luncheon each year,” Headmaster Craig Maughan said.

The Miles Room was filled with lunchmeats, vegetables and cakes as the five Boys in Blue discussed recent work and made friendly conversation between posing for photos and videos. The added bonus of having some time off from work brightened multiple spirits. Lane Epps, Director of Parent Relations, briefly came in to thank them and take pictures.

Since Trinity was founded in 1968, the Boys in Blue have helped maintain the school. Originally one man was tasked with everything from mowing all the grass on campus to doing everyday tasks such as electric work. Eventually another staff member was added to ease the workload.

“When I first came to the school in 1993, we had two people in the department, one who handled all of the repairs and one who handled all of the grounds work,” Maughan said. “They were called the ‘Boys in Blue’ because they always wore blue work shirts.”

The team eventually grew to the five staff that make up the department today. Each Boy in Blue has a specific area of expertise. Lou Garcia maintains the air conditioning, and he is department head for the maintainance staff. Justin Mahler serves as Trinity’s electrician, and Robert Selfridge specializes in carpentry.

In addition, John Milander does much of the grounds work, and Mitchell Shulich assists in priority jobs or wherever needed.

Before coming to Trinity, Garcia worked at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. He was part of the maintenance staff that cared for the building.

This was no small job, as the National Cathedral is the sixth largest cathedral in the world. After moving to Florida, Garcia found an open position for the Boys in Blue.

Today, his role has expanded to make him head of the Maintenance Department. He is more involved with students, parents and teachers than ever. In addition, Garcia prioritizes what unfinished jobs need to get done from the previous days.

“[My favorite part of the job is] not knowing what’s going to happen on a day-to-day basis,” Garcia said. “While it could be a little scary, it keeps you honest and makes your job interesting.”

In the past, Garcia has had to fix flat tires for stranded students, jump-start stalled cars and rescue turtles.

“I love that we get a lot of time to spend outdoors, especially in Florida,” Selfridge said.

The Boys in Blue have also served an important role in the construction of the new Brokaw Hall. Although they aren’t wearing hardhats, they act as consultants to the construction company. If any questions arise about potential problems, such as the classroom layout or appliances and lighting, the Boys in Blue offer advice at weekly meetings.

The Boys in Blue have always shown that they provide a pivotal backbone for the advancement of the school.

Along with keeping Trinity Prep functioning, they provide a perfect example to students on how to be a great member of the Trinity family.