Robert Sieler is a third-generation employee of the Lodi Unified School District. A 15-year district employee and now head custodian at Houston School in Acampo, Sieler was named the district’s Classified Employee of the Year. He was honored at Tuesday’s Lodi Unified school board meeting.
Sieler is well-known to current and former students. In addition to keeping the Houston grounds clean, he helps set up for afterschool sporting events and dances, and occasionally talks to troubled children having issues at home, he said. In addition, he negotiates contracts with district officials on the behalf of custodians throughout the district.
He enjoys being involved with students more than any other aspect of his job, he said.
Born and raised in Lodi, Sieler attended Lodi High School and followed in the footsteps of his late grandfather, George Ellis, who was a district police officer, and his father, Kenneth Sieler, a groundskeeper at Bear Creek High School until his retirement in 2011.
Sieler had a ready answer as to why he began working for Lodi Unified.
“The concept was, if you weren’t sure what you were going to do, get a job you can keep,” he said.
He started off as a substitute custodian in 1995, and then became a campus security officer at Plaza Robles Continuation High School in Stockton in October 1996. Sieler then became night custodian at Reese Elementary School in 1998 before taking the same position at Houston School in the summer of 2000. He became head custodian at Houston in 2001.
Sieler said he is proud of setting an example for students by treating people with respect and using good manners.
Sieler and his wife, Sandy, have three sons who attended — where else? — Houston School: Nate, Robert Jr., and Braydon.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at email@example.com.