Profile: Robert Amaral


By Eli Blum

Have you ever finished walking up a large flight of stairs on campus just to see someone cruising around on a golf cart once you’ve reached the top? Have you ever thought to yourself, “Damn, I wish I had a golf cart to ride around campus in”? Well, if you have, there is a good chance that the person you saw riding around on that golf cart was head custodian Robert Amaral.

Amaral has worked in the Tam district (TUHSD) as a custodian for over 16 years, his last year and a half having been spent here at Tam. He is a renaissance man of sorts around campus. He is in charge of everything from setting up for the homecoming dance to replacing classroom desks, and everything in between. Amaral said his day to day duties consist of “making sure everything is working correctly, doing any maintenance that needs to be done, helping out with deliveries, check in with contractors and admin, see what needs to be done facilities wise, setup for any events that are happening, and make sure all of the custodians are aware of what’s going on.”

If you have ever wondered how a table just happened to be down by the arches for boba sales or how all the merchandise magically makes its way to the gym on schedule pickup day, the answer is Amaral and his custodial staff. However, his job is not only the normal day to day tasks you might expect from a high school custodian. There are plenty of great stories and crazy incidents behind the scenes here at Tam.

“The most exciting thing I’ve had here at Tam, was one of the motors on a classroom was burning up” Amaral said, “I got called at about 10 o’clock at night by the fire department to come respond and ended up being here until about midnight until all the smoke was clear.” This is an example of Amaral’s tireless dedication  and commitment to Tam High School that is often greatly overlooked.

Amaral has not always been a custodian for TUHSD.. In the mid-’80s, Amaral worked at an auto body and paint shop and also was a member of the San Anselmo Police Department for a short time.

After these jobs, he became a night custodian for the Benicia Unified School District, working his way up to maintenance before transferring to Redwood for a year, followed by his position of Lead Custodian at Drake, which he held for 14 years.

Now at Tam, Amaral has made himself an integral part of the community, helping out and working with various programs around campus to help events run smoothly and without incident. Last year, he became an assistant JV baseball coach at Tam, a position that he cherishes.

“They always say that if you want to stay young, work with young people,” Amaral said. “I enjoy coaching sports and working with the kids like Leadership and Link Crew. I joke around a lot with them. It’s fun… I like the aspect of being other than just a custodian here, I like the fact that I can get involved in other areas of the campus as well.”  

Although he seems as almost an irreplaceable part of the Tam community now, Amaral admits he still has a lot to learn about the campus and plenty of closets and basements to explore around Tam. He looks forward to his coming years at Tam and says that he is glad he made the decision to move from Drake.

“I’ll be a Hawk until I retire. I’m glad I came here,” said Amaral.

So, now you know who to thank for helping to set up the dances or replace broken projector in one of your classes. You know who is riding around the golf cart, making sure everything is working properly and is where it is supposed to be. Robert Amaral is the man who looks after Tam.

“I look at it as when you guys walk on campus, you are my kids and you’re my responsibility. I take pride in what I do and hopefully it shows,” Amaral said.