Unsung Heroes #206

Rob Earley and his family are recent arrivals in Westport.

But he knows an Unsung Hero when he sees one.

Last week — the day after Hurricane Ida unleashed 7 inches of rain on his new town — he sent along this photo:

Rob writes: “My kids just started at Saugatuck Elementary School. Unfortunately I don’t know this man’s name. I am so grateful that he was out there, up to his knees in water clearing drains at the school.

“The facilities staff probably don’t always get recognition. But I immediately thought of your site, and the town’s Unsung Heroes that you profile.”

Thanks, Rob. You nailed it. So to the Saugatuck staff member — and all the other facilities folks who dealt with drains, leaks, floods, branches, debris, and everything else in Ida’s wake — thank you.

And thanks too for all you do every day, in so many other ways, for all of us!

(If you’ve got a favorite school facilities employee, share his or her story in the “Comments” below. And do you know an Unsung Hero? Email dwoog@optonline.net)

7 responses to “Unsung Heroes #206

  1. I nominate Dan Woog. Hopefully everyone knows what a valuable service he supplies to the town day in and day out come hurricanes, foul weather of any sort, political disputes and just plain valuable information of all kinds. How I wish there was something like what Dan does for Westport, my beloved hometown, where I live now. And please don’t forget to thank “facilities staff” for the schools, nursing homes, hospitals and all the others I am forgetting to mention. A smile and a thank you can do a world of good in these troubled times.

  2. The school facilities and custodial staffs are always so wonderful to work with and up to any challenge, working every day to keep the schools operating smoothly. The work they do is seldom recognized but benefits everyone who steps into a school building and plugs something in, gets a drink of water, or just walks around. They are absolutely unsung heroes.

  3. Mary, you may have missed this article in Westport-News on Dan. He was nominated but in another media since he would not nominate and write up himself.


    Letter to the Editor: Dan Woog is a Westport Unsung Hero as well
    Jan. 8, 2021 Updated: Jan. 8, 2021 11:46 a.m.

    • Bob, thanks for sharing that. I had not seen that. You perfectly captured the sentiments of Neil Brickley, Staples ‘71, who was trying to figure out a while back how to honor Dan as an Unsung Hero. I, on the other hand never quite thought of Dan as an Unsung Hero but rather as being Westport’s answer to iconic columnists who wrote for major urban newspapers back in the day. He perhaps should be known as “Mr. Westport.”

  4. Yes Bob, I missed that. Thank you for sharing.

  5. That gentleman must be “Mr. Al” Orozco, SES head custodian and all around good human being. He embodies the spirit of above-and-beyond and this is just one small example of the work ethic, good energy and happy attitude Mr. Al brings to SES every day. He is quite literally the best and deserves this nomination x 1000. Huzzah, Mr. Al!

  6. Jodi Harris beat me to it. Having been at SES for 11 consecutive years I’ve had the privilege to really get to know Mr. Al. He’s kindhearted, funny, knows all the children’s names and truly treats the school as if it were his home. He takes great pride in his work and we’re lucky to have him!

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