2010 Recipient - Stanislaw Szapiel
Caretaker, Physical Plant
Video of presentation of The Western Award of Excellence to Stanislaw Szapiel
Stanislaw Szapiel may have the outward appearance of a caretaker, but look a bit deeper and you’ll find a language instructor, lab assistant, doorman, theatre usher, arbitrator, colleague and more.
“He is our caretaker, our janitor, our friend,” says Don Wright Faculty of Music professor Henry Meredith, adding Szapiel opens his ‘broom closet’ - with its faucets and hose - to aid a professor and enrich the education of numerous music students.
Whether rescuing an overburdened teacher by opening a door or carrying a tuba, it’s not surprising to see Szapiel go a step beyond his job description - without hesitation.
“For Stan, there is no such thing as ‘it’s a dirty job and somebody has to do it’,’” adds Meredith. “He enthusiastically embraces the work he does, and knows how important his job is to the experiences of the people, instruments and sounds of the Don Wright Faculty of Music.”
Szapiel has become so popular and vital to the faculty’s success, he was recently chosen to be part of a music fundraising calendar, one of only two staff members. His cheerful, generous and unaffected personality engenders an environment of respect. Through his support of the activities of both students and faculty, Szapiel helps to keep the work produced in the faculty at its already internationally acclaimed level. His initiative and creativity in contributing to the best student experience demonstrate his interest in the betterment of Western.
“Stan is the person to whom many teachers and colleagues go to when they need a job done quickly and correctly,” says Meredith. “His own leadership skills are seen in his quietly effective way with the other custodial staff with whom he works.
“Stan models respect and calm by how he treats everyone – students faculty, visitors and, of course, his fellow custodians. Stan deserves the utmost recognition of his invaluable, yet too often behind-the-scenes, contributions to the Faculty of Music as a whole.”
by Paul Mayne
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