Principal becomes a school cleaner to celebrate Superheroes Day

School principal Justin Neal looks the part as he dresses up as a CrestClean cleaner.

School principal Justin Neal looks the part as he dresses up as a CrestClean cleaner.

When he decided to become a cleaner for the day school principal Justin Neal got well and truly swept along by the role.

He really looked the part in a CrestClean top as he joined children and fellow staff members for a Superheroes Day at Nelson’s Appleby School.

But after taking part in a procession with other “superheroes”, Justin was in no rush to change back into his usual school attire. Later in the day he teamed up with CrestClean business owner Karl Parker to carry out some cleaning.

“I said you don’t have to do this but he insisted,” says Karl, who looks after the school’s cleaning needs.

“He turned up wearing a CrestClean top and had the school’s vacuum cleaner.”

Justin quickly got to work with his vacuum cleaner and polished off five classrooms, much to the delight of Karl, who was impressed with the principal’s cleaning skills. “He did a great job.”

Justin says it was an easy decision to come as a cleaner. “We were doing superheroes as a theme following the lockdown period. There were a bunch of kids who came as superheroes, like Spiderman and Superman.

“A lot of others came as doctors, nurses and cleaners and other essential services workers. I thought I’d join in so I grabbed the T-shirt and the vacuum cleaner and I actually did some cleaning.”

Justin says he enjoyed the experience, particularly the moment when he surprised a group of children. “I went in during the middle of a class with my vacuum cleaner and began vacuuming amongst them. It was good, a bit of fun.”

He says helping out gave him an insight into the daily tasks Karl carries out. “Vacuuming is hard work. It’s winter, so we have got a lot of leaves everywhere and the kids aren’t exactly clean themselves and bring stuff into classrooms.

“Karl is awesome. He and I were vacuuming together and I got better understanding of the job he does every day.”

He says Karl goes above and beyond, often doing extra work at the school. They were very appreciative of how well the school was cleaned to enable children to return after the COVID-19 lockdown period.

“As soon as the school was opened he was back in cleaning all the surfaces making sure that the place was safe.

“He’s very easy to get along with and he’s always open to listening, he’s really good. We really appreciate him.”

Later in the day Justin turned heads by attending a meeting still dressed as a cleaner. “I had a principals’ meeting that night and I didn’t actually have time to get changed, so I went in my CrestClean shirt and that was interesting too!”

Barbara de Vries, CrestClean’s Nelson Regional Manager, says there’s always a place in her team if Justin decided on a career change.

“It was really great he chose CrestClean as his superhero. We were flattered and I hear he did a great job of the cleaning!”

Crest Commercial Cleaning Ltd

P O Box 740
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand
Telephone: +64-3-477 1126


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