Kent Prairie Simply Amazing Staff


There is no denying that Juan Cuellar, daytime custodian at Kent Prairie, has presence. He is invariably cheerful, perpetually smiling and enjoying his interactions with students and adults. He makes kids feel important and it is for this reason that Juan is the Simply Amazing recipient for Kent Prairie.

The kids know that Juan has an impeccable work ethic. “He keeps our building clean, so we are not learning in a dirty place. You would probably get distracted in a dirty school,” said fourth grader Corbin. Fellow fourth grader Layne agreed. “We want him to know that we know he is a hard worker. He works hard to keep the place clean. Whenever I go to lunch I see food under the tables, but when to get to PE it looks like a whole new place.”

Juan is tremendous at his work, and of course it’s the personal interactions with kids that sets him apart. He talks with kids about their future jobs and what they might want to do. He encourages them to help their families, as he does. He also teaches Spanish as he communicates. Van shared that “When people walk up to him, he teaches them some Spanish words and kindness stuff. We have learned, “hola,” “como estas,” and “bien.” Van’s friend Ben added, “My whole family came from Mexico, so he has taught me some longer words… colors, numbers, casual words. My Grandma says I am learning really great Spanish, and she hopes I learn more soon.

For these reasons--and so many others, Juan is a deserving recipient of Kent Prairie’s Simply Amazing award.