Mr. Leonard: Coach, Mentor, and Custodian

By Office of Communications
Employee News
September 26, 2023

Monday, October 2, is National Custodian Appreciation Day. Thanks to our colleagues on the custodial team, we all have a clean, safe place to learn, teach, and work. Fairfax County Public Schools employs more than 1,300 custodians, field custodians, and building supervisors to maintain our more than 28 million square feet of infrastructure.

One of our amazing custodial employees is last year’s Outstanding School-Based Operational Employee Leonard Roberts, custodian at Bull Run Elementary School. 

“Mr. Leonard,” as he is affectionately known, embodies a positive, nurturing, and caring demeanor, along with an infectious smile and energy. He can often be found greeting students in the cafeteria while they are getting breakfast and asking them about their interests. 

“When Mr. Leonard walks around campus during the day and sees things out of place or broken, he immediately fixes it or places it back where it belongs,” Principal Jason Pensler’s letter of support stated. “It is actions like these that exemplify the care he puts into our school. He treats Bull Run Elementary as more than a ‘job.’ It is ‘home.’”

Mr. Leonard also serves as a mentor to some students and has lunch with them daily. “He is calm, caring, and kind with them; setting a wonderful example as a role model,” Pensler’s letter said. “He also makes time throughout the day to connect with the students when they need to take a break from the classroom. The relationships he has made directly contribute to their success throughout the day.”

Leonard is also well respected and appreciated by the staff. 

“Our staff relies on him for so much more than what a custodian might be asked,” said Jenna Campbell, assistant principal, who nominated him for the FCPS Honors award. “He's proactive, observant, and efficient. The teachers love him, the students love him, and the community loves him.” 

In addition to working at Bull Run, Leonard also coaches little league and flag football and is the Westfield High School junior varsity basketball coach. 

For all you do Mr. Leonard — and all custodians throughout the division — we thank you!

Leonard Roberts, center, receives his Honor Award.