Monday, July 31st will mark the end of an era in the Daviess County Public School System.  Last week, East View Elementary School announced the formal retirement date of its custodian, Glenn Pierce.  Glenn, or Mr. Glenn as students refer to him, has worked inside the halls of East View since the doors opened there in 1997.  But, for many of us, our memories of Glenn go way back to Thruston Elementary.

East View Elementary/Facebook

I don't remember the exact year that Glenn came to Thruston, but I, and just about every other student he encountered, remember him.  And how could we not?  Because he had an amazing knack for remembering us.  Each and everyone of us.  Glenn knew us by name and took the time to get to know things about us and what was going on in our lives in and out of school.  I remember having multiple conversations with him in the hallways at Thruston.  He asked questions, listened to our answers and never hesitated to follow up.  How many of you remember waiting in the cafeteria line and passing the time having a conversation with Glenn?

And, how many of you connected with Mr. Glenn through his art?  In case you aren't familiar, Glenn Pierce was and still is a wonderfully talented artist.  On East View's Facebook post about Glenn's retirement, Tamara Zaborac-Payton commented "Glenn is an amazing guy!! I have so many fond memories of him from when I was a student at Thruston. He always had a way of making every student feel special. And what an incredible artist!"

And, he routinely gifted students with his artistic creations.  My sister, Kaci, still has drawings Glenn shared with her when she was at Thruston.  Wendy Stuart shared a special moment she had with Glenn and how he helped her after her family lost a beloved pet- " I have so many wonderful memories of Glenn!  I have a dozen drawings from him as well (still have them), like the one he made of a basset hound when I told him I missed my dog. You clearly made an impression on many young lives and you deserve the best in return!" 

Christi Parker Hatfield, perhaps, best summed up how all of Glenn's students feel about him.  She commented, "I loved Mr. Glenn at Thruston. He picked us up on his arm at lunch, drew the most amazing art & made every child feel special. When you can remember that 30 years later - he's a special person!"

And, she's right.  Glenn Pierce is most definitely a special person.  And I have to thank Christi for the flashback of Glenn picking us up on his arm.  I had forgotten about that!  That was just another one of Glenn's talents that made him seem like a superhero to us.  And a superhero is exactly what he is.  And what an incredibly super influence he has had for decades on the students of Daviess County Public Schools.

Glenn took care of the hallways inside Thruston and East View, but he also took impeccable care of the students as well.  Sure, Mr. Glenn's job was maintenance.  But forget the floors, the trash, the hallways, the restrooms.  The most important thing Glenn Pierce maintained was life-long friendships with the students he encountered on a daily basis.  Adults, when they reflect back on their school years, routinely reference a favorite teacher or an educator who was particularly influential in their lives.  We all have those too.  But Thruston and East View students have the additional privilege of pointing back to this guy.  Mr. Glenn.  Glenn Pierce.  Custodian.  Amazing Artist.  Mentor.  Friend.

Enjoy your retirement, Glenn.  You made every minute of your work count to make a difference in the lives of so many of us.  And, the next time I see you, we're going to see if you can still pick me up on your arm.