Above: Wanda Contant on the job and on the move.

Still Cool for School After 40 Years (and Counting)


s the school year winds down, Wanda Contant, Lead Hand for Facility Services, is reflecting on a remarkable milestone – 40 years of service ensuring schools are safe, well maintained spaces, and her co-workers are supported in carrying out this collective goal. 

Above: Wanda Contant in her office at Facility Services.

"People keep asking me when I'll retire, but I like to keep them guessing," says Contant, who is Lead Hand for the east region of Grand Erie including Haldimand County and parts of Brantford in a leadership role supporting the afternoon caretakers at those schools. "I've had great mentors and co-workers, so that helps a lot – I still enjoy coming to work." 

After graduating from Dunnville Secondary School, Contant took on a full-time custodian role at Seneca Central School, not knowing how long she'd stay before moving on to something else. She remained there for nearly two decades before accepting a centralized assignment with Facility Services. 

"I really missed the kids after leaving Seneca," she reflects. "I took my job really seriously making sure the building was clean and safe for them to learn, and I tried to have an upbeat attitude to set the tone for their day." 

While her role as Lead Hand involves covering a distance to oversee a larger team at multiple schools, she maintains a similar approach. 

"You've got to be able to listen, provide support and get things done quickly, which goes a long way to building relationships," she says. "You're there to help people, which helps the school." 

Contant has also seen a lot of change over the decades, from advances in technology and the systems that maintain a school, to a global pandemic that meant implementing new practices quickly and consistently. All of it has kept her on her feet while maintaining a cool, calm approach to learning, leading and inspiring on the job.  

"I'm still learning," she says. "If you stop learning, there's something wrong!"


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