My Why - Alvarado Brothers, Custodians for CCSD21

April 15, 2024

Topic: My Why

There is a famous quote about leadership that goes something like this: Where one goes, others will follow. This couldn’t be more accurate for the Alvarado brothers, all of whom work at CCSD21. Born in Mexico, four Alvarado brothers (and one sister) moved to the states with their father at different stages in their life. First dad, then the children: Octavio (the oldest), Efren (the second oldest), Reymundo and finally, the youngest, Jose. They settled into Schiller Park, near O’Hare International Airport. 

In 2009, Octavio secured a job as summer maintenance help in the district. The next year, he worked as summer help again and then advanced to a full-time, permanent position as the night custodian at Frost Elementary School, where he stayed for 3 1⁄2 years. A few years later, the next brother, Efren, started as summer maintenance help for 3yrs  in the district. The next year, Reymundo worked as summer maintenance help and finally, a few years later, Jose started as summer maintenance help. We feel lucky to work together for CCSD21.  

“We like working in the district. The days go by really fast and we have good bosses,” said one of the brothers. “We feel very comfortable here,” said another brother. “We like the work,” said a third. Their grandparents and father worked in crop fields in Mexico and taught them the value of hard work and taking pride in what they do. “I can’t say enough about how amazing each of these individuals are,” said Assistant Director of Operations, Bill Weiss. “They are self-starters who go the extra mile to ensure a job is completed in a timely manner or ahead of schedule. Their hard work is noticed by the building occupants and I receive many compliments on their productivity and especially their eagerness for new challenges or tasks assigned. Their positivity rubs off on their coworkers and enhances the overall culture of the department,” Weiss added.   Since their first days in the district, the brothers have advanced to higher positions. Octavio is now the head custodian at Tarkington Elementary School. Efren is a floater and fills in wherever needed in the district. Reymundo is the mid-day custodian for Holmes Middle School and Jose is the Head Custodian for the district’s administration building. 

Outside of work, the brothers like to spend time together. “We are a close family and live near each other,” said one of the brothers. “We have a lot of family cookouts in the summer,” said another. Three of them play in the same soccer league in Chicago. And they all visit Mexico periodically… traveling together to visit family and friends.