What’s Right With Our Schools: East Ridge Middle’s Herbert Elder

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – It’s been said that the custodian is the eyes and ears of an institution. At East Ridge Middle School, their custodian is so much more than that!


Shimson Racine is the Regional Director for SSC.

He recently awarded Herbert Elder with the GEM Award.

Racine explains, “The GEM award is for our associates that go above and beyond. It is a way to recognize them for their skills and their ability. And we select six winners a month. And we also do a regional GEM award. And we also do an annual GEM award winner.”

Kelvin Lloyd owns Mean Green Janitorial Service.


When talking about Herbert Elder, Lloyd says, “He is more than a custodian as you see he is a GEM. You know so he is not only a father, he’s a grandfather.  He has supported his community. He has grown up here. He is a graduate of Howard high school, so he is more than a custodian, he is part of the team.


East Ridge Middle School Principal Christy Drake adds, “He is a true asset. We love Herbert, uh Mr. Elder. He is all about service. This is who he is. Not just for us, he is a servant in the community.

Herbert Elder says,”I try to do whatever it takes. Whatever it takes. Whatever the principal requires of me I’m going to do it. I don’t mind doing it. I’ll try to keep the school up. And keep any complaints from going to the bosses. I do whatever it takes.”


Kelly Owen is the School Counselor at East Ridge Middle.


Owen says, “He comes in every day he works his hardest. He does everything for the kids, or the teachers that work here. For us he is an amazing man. He has been at East Ridge middle school longer than I have. And we are so blessed to have him here.”

Principal Drake chips in, “He has heart. He has passion. He does his work with Fidelity, integrity. It’s just a wonderful too, to have someone to be on our team.”


Herbert Elder concludes, “Well being honest, I don’t pay this no attention. I just do the job. Being honest, I’ll just do the job. It’s just another day at work to me.”



Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Hamilton County, Local News, What’s Right With Our Schools