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Retiring Pine-Richland School District custodian celebrated for service

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Submitted
Richard Thoma accepts an award from Superintendent Brian Miller at the Aug. 26 school board meeting to commemorate his retirement from the district after 27 years of service as a custodian at Pine-Richland Middle School.

After 27 years of service at the Pine-Richland School District, Richard Thoma is retiring from his position as daytime custodian at Pine-Richland Middle School.

“He's no stranger to Pine-Richland. In fact, his retirement is worthy of celebration,” communications director Rachel Hathhorn said of Thoma at the Aug. 26 school board meeting.

Thoma and his wife, Janet, attended the meeting during which his retirement was recognized and Superintendent Brian Miller presented him with a small gift.

Thoma, 55, thanked the board and administrators present after Hathhorn introduced him.

“Thanks guys, everybody. I've had a lot of memories here,” he said.

His retirement plans don't include slowing down. Thoma said he plans to “work at home and catch up on a lot of stuff.”

He'd also like to get another job closer to his home in Bruin.

Thoma began working at Pine-Richland in 1986 as a full-time custodian at the high school in the evenings. He then became a daytime custodian at Pine-Richland Middle School, which is where he worked for the remainder of his career.

Thoma said he's been at the middle school for the past 18 years. Working during the school day allowed him to connect with the students. He said the special education students, especially, were his “good friends.”

“All the kids in general were really good. I always enjoyed helping the kids out.”

His last day was Aug. 30. Thoma said employees at the middle school had a luncheon and cake to celebrate his retirement on Aug. 27.

“They're my big family, my second family,” he said.

Pine-Richland facilities management director Gary Zang said Thoma always put the district first and “will be truly missed.”

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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