Over the past three decades at Godwin, there has been a symbol for what it means to be an Eagle. This figure is hardworking, timely, and dedicated to their craft.
The symbol is Thomas Threatt, the daytime janitor. Threatt has always enjoyed working at Godwin.
“In the 30 years I’ve been here, I have really enjoyed it. I like talking to the students, encouraging them to take on their opportunities. It has really been a great place to work. When I retire, I will always talk highly of this school, it’s been a great place to work,” said Threatt.
Before working here, Threatt skipped college and went straight into trade school due to financial needs. He began working at Crawford Manufacture, a paper manufacturing factory, in 1971, located in South Side, Richmond.
“I would work on the machines that made the paper. It was a really fun job because I had a lot of friends there,” said Threatt.
However, due to business not producing enough income, advisors decided to cut management jobs, including his, in order to conserve money. This sent his family into greater financial stress and unemployment.
During this time, Threatt struggled with finding a new job, so Threatt relied on his roots and remembered who he used to look up to as a kid for inspiration.
“When I was younger I always wanted to be a police officer or bus driver. I used to look up to the policemen that dressed up neatly. I used to love the way policemen would dress and do their job,” said Threatt.
At this point in time, Threatt had ruled out being a police officer or bus driver early in the job search because it didn’t allow him to express himself. He chose to look at Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS).
Ultimately, Threatt looked into job opportunities offered by HCPS and applied to be a janitor. Threatt was then hired by John McGinity, the principal in 1992. He has not looked back since.
Threatt is now entering his 29th year at Godwin. Every day at 8:30, Threatt is right inside the commons doors, greeting every student that enters.
“When I was in the factory, there [were] just grown ups, but coming here I am going to see and speak to students. Speaking to others is an important thing in the morning, someone could be having a bad morning and when I say good morning it could brighten their day. And some days when I don’t feel like being here, when the students say goodmorning back it makes my day,” said Threatt.
Threatt would work tirelessly for twelve hour shifts in a factory to make ends meet. Working at the factory was hard for Threatt because he felt like he couldn’t be himself due to the fact that he couldn’t talk to anyone during the hours he was at work. When Threatt was hired by Principal McGinity, he was excited for a fresh start and to be able to bring his character to work.
“I try to bring my manners and behavior to work that way to make life easy, work easy, and being here easy. You can’t come here with a frown on your face and treat people poorly, you can’t live that way, I was raised that way.” said Threatt.
Since coming here in 1992, Threatt has brought his personality to school every day and any one can feel the positivity radiating from him.
Threatt has been the heart and soul of Godwin for the past three decades and doesn’t plan on going anywhere soon.
“Thomas Threatt is the mayor of Godwin. He knows everyone’s name and speaks to them every day. I am honored to work with him every day.” said Principal Dunavent.