Erica Graham: Keeping it clean |

Erica Graham: Keeping it clean

As school custodian, Erica Graham keeps things clean and tidy for Ridgeview Elementary students.
Lauren Blair

— You might imagine a school custodian would have to clean up some pretty nasty messes from time to time, but so far the students at Ridgeview Elementary School have been pretty easy on Erica Graham.

A recent transplant to Craig, Graham has been on the job for about three months now.

“I like it,” Graham said, but she leveled, “It’s a custodian. As much as you can like it, I like it.”

The Michigan native found her way to Craig through Nevada and then Gillette, Wyoming. Graham and her girlfriend, Tessa Fulton, moved here to be close to Fulton’s parents. Fulton works as a paraprofessional with special needs students at Ridgeview.

Adjusting to small-town life has been tough at times, especially being gay, Graham said.

“Craig is small, so it’s like, trust me, I’m human. You don’t have to look at me funny,” she said. “It’s like that everywhere really. You’re gonna get that, but then people get used to it and mind their own business.”

Graham said one of the best things about Craig is the abundance of good fishing spots.

“I grew up on Lake Huron,” Graham said. “I love fishing, I don’t know what it is. I’m just drawn to it… It’s relaxing and it’s just that adrenaline rush when you don’t know what’s on the end of your line when you get a bite.”

Graham enjoys the solitude of it as well, of which she gets an ample dose on the job since she usually cleans from about 4:30 to 11:30 p.m.

“I’m a night owl, so it’s nice,” she said. “There’s no one ever around… I have the tendency to bust out. I just jam and sing, and I’m sure I sing my butt off and people can hear me, but I don’t care.”

Graham’s latest favorite song to listen to on the job is “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars.

While Graham sings on the job, her girlfriend will be putting her vocal talents to the test when she auditions for the popular TV show, “The Voice,” next month in Los Angeles. Graham hopes to be there for her for the first part of the audition.

“She’s really good,” Graham said. “She occasionally brings her guitar and plays for the kids, and the teachers just eat her up.”

As for her own hopes and dreams, Graham wants to go to college, but she’s just not sure for what yet.

“I’ve thought about doing teaching, I’ve thought about doing some kind of counseling, something like that,” Graham said. “I’m not really sure…. I love to do everything.”

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or

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