A Hidden Hero: Marsha McLeod, Loomis Chaffee Housekeeper

Anuva Kolli '24, Staff Writer

There are many hidden heroes on campus to ensure that students learn in a healthy, safe environment. Marsha McLeod, a housekeeper who works in the campus center, is one of those people.
Born and raised in Jamaica, Ms. McLeod and her father immigrated to the US in January of 2006 when she was only 18 years old. Unable to have the luxury of going to college, Ms. McLeod immediately began working in order to provide for herself. Despite the setbacks and struggles she endured, Ms. McLeod is grateful for her experiences.
“Here there are so many opportunities. That’s why most of us immigrate from [Jamaica],” she said.
Coming to the states meant that she had to leave many things behind in Jamaica, including family, friends, and her favorite sport: track and field. Ms. McLeod had many friends back in Jamaica, four with whom she ran track and field.
“When it [came] to track and field, we were so into it. We would [even] have arguments about it,” Ms. McLeod said.
Ms. McLeod’s favorite track and field events are the 100-meter race, the 200-meter race, and starting and anchoring relay races. She was just as successful at the sport as she was passionate.
“Back in [Jamaica] in 2002 when I represented my school in track and field, I won champion girl for that year,” she said.
Other than track and field, Ms. McLeod had many childhood stories to tell about her school and home life.
“I had a blessed childhood in Jamaica: having fun, being a kid, enjoying life itself. I would definitely go back to that to be honest,” she said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. McLeod has not been able to travel back to her home country to visit her family and friends.
“This [is] the first time I haven’t been back in five years which is driving me crazy!”
Going on her fourth year working at Loomis Chaffee, Ms. McLeod takes on a myriad of responsibilities to keep the campus pristine. However, her work and that of her colleagues often goes unnoticed. Having a clean space is a key factor for the well-being of students and faculty, meaning that Ms. McLeod’s work is nothing short of crucial.
Along with cleaning the campus center, Ms. McLeod interacts with many Loomis students, which is her favorite part of the job. She even keeps in touch with alumni from the class of 2019, 2020, and 2021. The meaningful relationships she has forged had and continues to have a great impact on her Loomis experience. Not only does she enjoy the everyday conversations that are often struck between her and the students, but she also enjoys hearing about their cultures and life stories.
“Meeting different kids from different backgrounds [and] socializing with people has been amazing… it’s good to go and just be there for them,” Ms. McLeod said.
When asked what the Loomis students could do to make her life a little easier, she simply asked students to make the effort to pick up after themselves.
“We love working for the kids… [and] I understand that they’re teenagers, but in the public system I need these kids to understand that [they]… need to be mindful of things. Stop throwing things on the floor and thinking ‘Oh, the housekeeper is going to clean it up’,” she said.
In her spare time, Ms. McLeod enjoys chatting with family and friends, watching movies and plays, and just relaxing. She also enjoys watching the summer Olympics when it airs, specifically for the track and field events.
“When it comes on, I’m watching the screen so closely,” she said, laughing.
Respect is one of Ms. McLeod’s main mottos, and it keeps her going every day.
“If you don’t respect other people that means you don’t respect yourself…everything starts from within, it has to start from you,” she said.