A Tribute to Carlos Castellanos
by Carol Borut

A Tribute to Carlos Castellanos

Carlos Castellanos has been a dedicated member of Sidwell’s Building and Grounds crew for 43 years. He made many friends across the Sidwell community during his long tenure caring for the school’s gardens and grounds and keeping its buildings in working order on both campuses. Carlos was a jack of all trades and could find a solution to any problem. He set an example of how to do a job well and to take pride in one’s work. Students, parents, faculty and staff all have reported that Carlos was always there for them, with his sympathetic smile and friendly greeting, always ready to lend a helping hand. 

It is often hard to imagine the long hours and hard work that the B&G team tirelessly invests behind the scenes.  Just to name a few responsibilities:  setting up and breaking down needed props for a wide variety of everyday and special events  (chairs and tables for meetings, reunions, receptions, dances, concerts, assemblies and concessions for home games), checking and replacing light bulbs in meeting rooms, music rooms and on the stage before productions, making sure that all mechanical systems run smoothly, while at the same time responding to multiple and diverse requests from faculty and staff who need help with a wide variety of  tasks and emergencies.  In addition to all of his other responsibilities, Carlos had the annual chore each year to reset the combinations on student lockers.  When he came around with his list of locker codes, teachers and staff knew that the beginning of a school year was not far away.  Of course, there were always a few lockers that did not comply with his efforts –that drove him crazy, but he always persevered until the job was done.  

In the days when Sidwell operated its own school buses, Carlos was a highly respected driver who was the first to report for duty each day and the last to leave after all of his charges had been safely returned to their homes.  He created a friendly and safe environment for all of his passengers.  Students reported that he started their days off right, that school was less daunting when greeted every morning by Carlos’s kind words and caring smile.

Carlos was genuinely interested in everyone in the SFS community.  He knew the faculty and many of the students and parents by name, and they knew and appreciated him!  He engaged in many impromptu conversations throughout his shifts.    His kindness and generosity made the campus a hospitable place.  The day that he was invited to visit and play his saxophone for the K-1 class won him a group of new friends and respect for his patience, humor, and diverse talents.  Those students studying Spanish appreciated that Carlos would speak with them in Spanish, give them a chance to practice their conversational skills, and would even smile to indicate that he understood what they were saying.

As one of many examples of the respect and gratitude that students have felt for Carlos Castellanos over these many years, the SFS Class of 1995 dedicated their Philos yearbook in honor of his friendship and service to the school:

“We, the students, often overlook those who matter most in the Sidwell Community. This year we decided to honor one of the many who rarely gets the credit he deserves. Carlos Castellanos is always there when you need him whether it’s a snowy weekend or late Monday night.  Even with his demanding job and saxophone playing, he always has time to chat and to tutor the occasional Spanish student.  The one thing he always has besides his badge is a warm smile.  The class of ’95 appreciates everything he has done for us and we will miss him next year.”

Carlos, all of the past and present Sidwell Community thanks you for your loyal dedication, your hard work, your trusted friendship, and your positive and generous spirit during these many years from 1978 to 2021. 

¡Le deseamos mucha felicidad y paz en su jubilación!