Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dave Guilford wasn't just a custodian

The words in the headline for this post are not mine.

I was never brought up to believe that someone was better than someone else because of what job that person might hold or what degrees that person might have hanging on the wall.

Dave Guilford, who has been building engineer (head of the janitorial crew) at South Middle School for years and has been in the Joplin R-8 School District for three decades, retired Friday. A surprise reception was held in his honor in the SMS cafeteria, which was packed for the occasion.

The room was filled with all of the trimmings that are usually featured with retirement receptions- the cake, the punch, the plaque, and of course, the rocking chair.

What made this reception stand out was the five-minute speech Dave gave. Though, of course, it will hold interest to those who know Dave and have been fortunate enough to have worked with him, he also says some important truths about education.

He opened the speech by noting that after starting out thinking it was just another job, one day he realized, "No, you're not just a custodian because you deal with children."

After that revelation, Dave devoted himself to doing what he could to help children, especially as he noted, "children who might be in need or have problems," and helping teachers and administrators to do whatever they could to help the children.

Dave has played a key role in educating the children at South Middle School. it is not going to be the same without him.

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