Interview by Annalise Kenney ’15
Cheryl Krumke has been a part of the St. Mary’s grounds crew for over eight years. She may be most recognizable to the campus community as the busy woman traveling across campus via her green John Deere Gator. This summer, Cheryl and the crew spent their days cleaning and maintaining the grounds in preparation for students’ return to campus. “Work on a grounds crew is never done,” says Cheryl.
What is your role as assistant supervisor of grounds?
I work to keep the grounds as clean and beautiful as possible. This involves everything from picking up trash to planting and mulching flower beds to even picking up dead squirrels! Most importantly, I work with and supervise the eight grounds crew members in their duties.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love working the flower beds. We’ve recently planted some roses and trees, and we’re also setting up water bags in case of drought. I also love working with student and staff volunteers. St. Mary’s community members always enjoy the grounds, but working with the grounds makes you truly appreciate the beauty here. You can’t really enjoy the grounds during a five-minute walk to class.
What’s your daily routine with the grounds crew?
In the morning, the first thing we do is a round of trash collection. The grounds crew covers the entire campus and picks up all the loose trash. Next we move on to other grounds maintenance jobs: mowing, weeding, whatever needs to be done to make the grounds look their best. In the fall we do our planting, but the summertime is mostly maintenance.
What is the toughest part of your job?
It always amazes me how much loose trash is on this campus – for a “green” school with students and staff concerned about the environment, litter builds up here so quickly. Every morning we go out for our rounds, new trash is on the ground. This is frustrating and something St. Mary’s students and staff really need to work on.
Tell us about the grounds crew team.
There are eight people on the grounds crew and we’re a great team. Although team members have
different specialties, we all work together, and everyone is able to do all types of work. My job is to supervise the team and check their work. I also love getting students involved and I’d really like to get
some students to help out with planting this fall.