Kevin Quinn, the Director of Facilities and Maintenance at MHS, has dedicated himself to making MHS the best place it can be for both students and staff.
“This facility, collectively, it’s ours, and so, it’s a representation of who we are,” Quinn said.
Prior to working here, Quinn studied engineering and organizational behavior in college and was in the U.S. air force. He also had his own mechanical engineering business, which focused its work on hospitals and schools.
Now, Quinn has had his hands full with the challenges that the pandemic has brought as well as the damage resulting from the “Devious Lick” TikTok challenge.
“He is one of the hardest workers I have ever met,” Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Stacey Gorman stated in an email. “He goes above and beyond his daily responsibilities to ensure all students, staff and families have what they need to be successful in their roles at MHS.”
Gorman detailed the effort Quinn puts into his job normally, but Quinn noted how his work changed with the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, he had to put in place certain mitigations, such as the number of seats that could be in a classroom given the spacing that needed to be between them. He also had to measure those distances between desks.
Quinn listed some of the other changes the pandemic brought: “We put in place a lot of mitigation. So, there’s signage; in the bathrooms, we removed hand air dryers because we were concerned with transmission of the virus. We put the paper towels in there. We changed the way we cleaned the building every night.”
In addition to dealing with the pandemic, this fall, Quinn also had to face the results of the “Devious Lick” TikTok challenge, which encouraged students to steal objects from their school, such as soap dispensers, printers, hand sanitizer stations, etc. The students would then post what they stole online.
Regarding the “Devious Lick” challenge, Quinn said he wants the student body to understand that he thinks we, as a school, are better than that.
“To see things damaged or removed or stolen, obviously there is a cost implication to the things being stolen or damaged, but we can’t let that represent who we are,” Quinn said.
Those within the school community also think the burden of repairing the damage from the challenge is disrespectful to the maintenance team.
“There are enough other things that Mr. Quinn and his team do on a daily basis that don’t involve the need to replace or repair damage done to the building,” Band Director Andy Sturgeon said. “So, that just becomes a distraction and additional responsibility to a plate that is already very full of things that it takes to run a school building.”
But Quinn said his disappointment stems from the lack of respect, as respect is one of Quinn’s guiding principles. He even has the word written on the white board in his office.
“We want people to drive past the campus and say, ‘It’s beautiful; there must be respect there,’” Quinn said.
Others in the community note how Quinn expresses his respect to the student body.
“Mr. Quinn connects with our students,” Gorman said. “He worked with Black Student Union to host the Mundelein Stronger Together rally focused on the importance of equity, inclusion and social justice.”
Additionally, Gorman noted Quinn provides other opportunities for students to work at MHS on a variety of facilities projects.
Gorman also said, “I think I speak for most of our staff when I say we are truly blessed to have such a loyal, hard-working and compassionate colleague.”