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More than a custodian, Medford school celebrates staff member.

KTVL/Stephanie Montano

A very special staff member got some recognition at Jackson Elementary School this week. Al Fitzsimmons, known as "Mr. Al" is the custodian at the Jackson Elementary School and goes above and beyond for students and staff.

"He's nice. When somebody spills something in the cafeteria he cleans it up," said first grader, Isabella Kadin. Her classmate, Callum Niles agrees. "What I like about him is that he helps people," said Niles.

Fitzsimmons has worked for different schools for 37 years, and prior to that he served in the navy, where even there he helped a young boy.

"I spent three tours in Vietnam and I got hooked up with a little boy I found over there," said Fitzsimmons. "I kept him with me for my three tours and put him in an orphanage when I left. And that kinda got me wrapped up with kids."

Fitzsimmons brings more than just smiles to students and staff. He pushed for a washer and dryer after seeing the need at Jackson Elementary School.

"I started a sniff process in the classrooms cause some little kids coats stink," said Fitzsimmons. "So on Mondays they'd grab me to wash their coats. So last year on Mondays and Wednesdays I'd wash their coats."

When asked why he does what he does, this was his response: "When I was a kid, I grew up with a few pretty nasty step-dads, and I just got a soft spot for them," said Fitzsimmons. "Its kinda cute now because after you do it, they spend time running around sniffing their coat cause it smells so good."

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