The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA

THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

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Souza retires after years of caring for community

After+working+at+Algonquin+for+over+18+years%2C+Custodian+John+Souza+is+retiring+on+Jan.+31+of+this+year.+Though+he+will+miss+the+warm+environment+of+the+school%2C+he+looks+forward+to+spending+time+with+family+once+he+is+retired.
Priya Maraliga
After working at Algonquin for over 18 years, Custodian John Souza is retiring on Jan. 31 of this year. Though he will miss the warm environment of the school, he looks forward to spending time with family once he is retired.

Custodian John Souza is retiring after over 18 years of cleaning up after the Algonquin community and building connections with students.

Souza, who began working at ARHS in 2005, will retire at the end of this month, with his last day on Jan. 31. He will miss the environment of the school the most. 

“The best part for me, here in this place, is everything,” Souza said. “I love everything here, especially the students; you are all nice to me. Teachers, all the same, all nice to me. Administration’s doing a good job. I have to go because I’m getting old, but I wish I could stay here for another five or six years.”

According to Facilities Director Mike Gorman, Souza’s warm personality sets him apart.

The best part for me, here in this place, is everything. I love everything here, especially the students; you are all nice to me. Teachers, all the same, all nice to me.

— Custodian John Souza

“His job was taking care of the cafeteria and supporting faculty, yes, but John had an uncanny knack of communicating and linking to the students,” Gorman said. “Whether the student had English as a second language or whether the student just needed someone to talk to, John had an uncanny knack of people migrating for him, and he had a lot of conversations; I think he really helped mentor students.”

Custodian Norberto Chaves believes that Souza contributed to a positive work environment.

“I’ve never had a conflict with him,” Chaves said. “He accepts new ideas and brings in new ideas. He’s very comfortable to work with.”

Souza’s communications with the rest of the custodial staff show his positivity and consideration for his coworkers.

“Once in a while on the radio, for a holiday, John would pipe out to [the janitors] to wish everybody a happy holiday, or John would just shoot out a quick email,” Gorman said. “We all struggle with different languages and things like that, but John always tried to do something personable from the heart. I’ll miss that from John.”

In retirement, Souza plans to focus on his family.

“I’m going to take a little break, at least until April or May,” Souza said. “I’ll go visit my family, come back and try to relax a little bit. I have two kids, one is a sophomore in college, and the other one is in high school and this year will be the last year. I’ll focus on taking care of them, pay bills. I’ll enjoy a little bit of life, too.”

Souza values the students and is also open to returning to ARHS as a substitute. 

“Every day you learn something else and something comes up…I want to take every student and thank everyone for being nice,” Souza said. “I’m so happy here for these 18 years. You guys are great.”

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Contributed
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A donation of $40 or more includes a subscription to the 2023-24 print issues of The Harbinger. We will mail a copy of our fall, winter, spring and graduation issues to the recipient of your choice. Your donation supports the student journalists of Algonquin Regional High School and allows our extracurricular publication to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

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About the Contributors
Katherine Wu
Katherine Wu, Editor in Chief
Katherine started writing for The Harbinger her freshman year when she took journalism. Through Zoom calls and masked interviews, she quickly fell in love with the storytelling aspect of journalism. Katherine joined The Harbinger Editorial Board as an Arts and Entertainment editor, became the Online Editor the following year and currently serves as an Editor in Chief. In her free time, Katherine loves playing volleyball, tutoring for the Algonquin Writing Center and listening to music (especially Taylor Swift).
Priya Maraliga
Priya Maraliga, Photo Editor
Priya began taking photos for The Harbinger in her freshman year after taking Photojournalism. She quickly grew to love several types of photography and is constantly working to improve her skills. Priya is currently the Photo Editor alongside Katy O'Connell. She loves watching the photos taken by herself and other fellow photographers take their places in the paper. Outside Harbinger, Priya enjoys reading, listening to music, Formula 1 and participating in other clubs at Algonquin.
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    Mariam ShiMar 11, 2024 at 6:15 pm

    So cute I love this!

    Reply