Archived Story

Progress 2011: The Custodian Crew

Published 2:00pm Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hero: Dennis Hamberg

Secret identity: custodian, supervisor over both night and day shifts, coordinator of building and grounds
Base of operations: Albert Lea High School, Albert Lea
Superpowers: He is a master of organization.
Kryptonite: He does like getting used to technology.
Affiliations: wife, Helen, two children, two grandchildren, one great-grandchild
Origin: After Hamberg got out of the military, he took an industrial maintenance course at Albert Lea Area Vocational Technical Institute. He has been a custodian for 35 years.

From left: Roger Christensen, Kevin Fischer, Dennis Hamberg, Oren Griffith and Gene Worke. -- Photo by Sarah Stultz and cutout by Stacey Bahr

Hero: Kevin Fischer

Secret identity: custodian, night shift
Base of operations: Albert Lea High School, Albert Lea
Superpowers: setting up the sound systems for games
Kryptonite: is unskilled with new technology but would like to learn more
Affiliations: wife, Layle, son, Daniel
Origin: He formerly worked for a lumberyard; Fischer has been a custodian for 10 years.

Hero: Roger Christensen

Secret identity: custodian, night shift
Base of operations: Albert Lea High School, Albert Lea; other Albert Lea Area Schools as needed
Superpowers: He can fill in at any school in the district and is quick to remember the tasks of the job.
Kryptonite: He is unskilled with new technology
Affiliations: wife, Debbie, 6 grandkids
Origin: Christensen worked 36 years at Wilson & Co. and six years in construction before applying for the job of custodian at Albert Lea High School.

Hero: Oren Griffith

Secret identity: custodian, night shift
Base of operations: Albert Lea High School, Albert Lea
Superpowers: He is great at landscaping.
Kryptonite: Fluorescent lights are difficult because he suffers from lupus. He also is hard of hearing
Origin: Griffith applied at Albert Lea High School as a custodian to have a steady job with good benefits. He has been at the school for 5 1/2 years. He formerly worked at Streater.

Hero: Ray Sorensen

Secret identity: custodian, night shift
Base of operations: Albert Lea High School, Albert Lea
Superpowers: He likes working with people and tries to do his best.
Kryptonite: He struggles with computers.
Affiliations: wife, Karen, two daughters, two grandchildren
Origin: Sorensen has worked at Albert Lea High School for 11 years. He started part time after working at Wilson & Co. He now works full time.
Note: Due to his powers of invisibility, Sorensen is not pictured.

Hero: Gene Worke

Secret identity: custodian, night supervisor
Base of operations: Albert Lea High School, Albert Lea
Superpowers: He enjoys spending time with the kids and does a lot of work with the athletics — baseball, volleyball and wrestling.
Kryptonite: He had surgery on his shoulders and knees.
Affiliations: wife, Yuko, one son, one daughter and four grandchildren
Origin: Worke used to be a construction worker but got injured and needed to find a job where he could get more time in. He has been at the high school as a custodian for nine years on the night shift from 2:30 to 11 p.m.