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The Trumpet

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The Student News Site of Cass High School

The Trumpet

The Student News Site of Cass High School

The Trumpet

Don’t Underestimate Kindness: The Story of Frank Skutka

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The Cass High School custodial staff is an integral part of the school. They are responsible for keeping the school clean and presentable. Being the backbone of the school, the custodial staff must be on top of their work at all times. This requires them to maintain strong bonds with each other. On paper, this occupation may not seem like it would be gratifying, but it is the community of love and care that the custodians have that makes the job congenial. Valerie Christian, a custodian at Cass, states, “We are a family; we stick together. Yes, that’s exactly what it is: a family.” Each custodian cares about one another, and it is this connection that fuels every single custodian’s love for their job. Christian continues praising her profession by adding, “I love it here. I love my job, and I love the people that I work with as well.”
Being a custodian at Cass High School is far more than a job, it is a web of connection and togetherness that spreads to those at the school who are not part of the custodial staff. Every custodian at the school goes above and beyond to reach out to teachers, students and staff of the school, and nobody does that better than Frank Skutka.
Working as a custodian at Cass for nine years, Frank Skutka is one of the purest and kindest people anyone will ever meet. He always goes out of his way to make people feel welcome and like they belong. Skutka recalls, “When I was in high school, … I was in cross-country, track, and did fencing and stuff, but I didn’t feel like I fit in. … I want to make sure that everybody feels like they fit in.” Skutka will always go out of his way to ask everyone how their day has been, say how excited he is to see the Cass High theater department’s play and to let everyone know that he has uploaded a new YouTube video.
Skutka’s YouTube channel started through happenstance. Skutka states, “I was trying to win an $85 gas card when 85 was repaired. The Fish was giving away $85 gas cards to [the] 85th caller, so I called in. I was caller 82. I was frustrated, so I made up this crazy rap and tagged the DJ on Facebook. She played it on the air that day, and my friend says, ‘Oh man, that’s funny. You [have to] put it on YouTube.’ … I was not going out [of my way] to start a YouTube channel, [I] just fell into it.”
Skutka’s YouTube channel is the place where he posts videos to make people laugh, because Skutka loves making people happy. If he sees a student in the hall, he will tell them all about his new videos, because he loves spreading joy through the humorous skits and songs he makes. Christian comments on people watching Skutka’s videos by stating: “He loves it, oh, he loves it! That makes his day.”
Skutka’s mantra is, “Why so serious?” People’s minds are good at getting anxious and panicking over trivial matters, but most of their problems fade away quickly. Skutka supports this by saying, “Laugh a little bit. … Don’t be so serious, because most things that we worry about, after a while, we either solve them or they go away, and some of the things are hard and they’re going to hurt, but there’s still life to be enjoyed, so try to enjoy every day.” Life can be painful, and sometimes that pain takes a while to fade, but focusing on the good in life can make such a big difference.
Even the purest souls undergo hardship. Even those who seem perfect on the outside endure their struggles on the inside. Hardship falls on everyone in unique ways. Skutka says, “I take care of my wife; she’s disabled, so I have a lot of work there, but you know everybody’s going through something, and [you have to] just make the most of it. I guess the goal is just to enjoy what I have every day.” Even in the darkest times, happiness can be found. “You can find something good in every day, because every day there’s something good, even in the bad times,” Skutka proclaims.
Skutka wants the world to realize that everyone is struggling with something. Sometimes these struggles can build up and the world feels like it is falling apart, but there is always a way out. There is always light poking through the gaps of sadness. Even the smallest thing can make the biggest impact. Skutka proposes, “Sometimes if you just say hi to somebody, you can make a difference in their lives, because you notice them, you know? And the other thing is, if you can make people laugh, you know [you can] maybe get [them] through a rough time.” Skutka calls it the “Eeyore principle”: “If you’ve ever seen Winnie the Pooh, they say, ‘Hi, Eeyore,’ and he goes, ‘Thanks for noticing me.’ It’s like, notice people, because they’re important, and everybody’s got a place in life.”
Skutka’s mission is to make people feel like they belong, because everyone belongs, they just have to discover their place. “When you figure [out] your purpose, then it starts making sense. Then you can enjoy it, because you’re living what you’re supposed to be doing.” Skutka makes everyone feel like they belong, because feeling important is the most important part of life.
Skutka cannot singlehandedly make Cass a more welcoming place. It takes many to form a strong community, and this strong community is all it takes to make a place feel like home. Christain remarks, “I belong here at Cass and nowhere else. This is my home, and this is where I’m [going to] stay.” Skutka supports Christian’s claim by stating, “I’m enjoying working here because I like the interaction with the teachers and students.” A sense of belonging leads to fulfillment and happiness, and that is why Skutka does so much to support everyone in the Cass High School community. It is Skutka—and so many others—who help make everyone at Cass feel welcome.
Skutka sets a strong example that everyone should follow. If everybody treated each other with love and kindness, the world would be a much better place, and this is not something unattainable; kindness is in everyone; everyone just has to find their place—find their joy—so that they can share that joy with others.

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