A longtime North High Star is retiring and Thursday he was sent off in style.
Randall Steven Slater graduated form North High School in June of 1972. The next week, he went to work as a school janitor, and he has been there ever since.
Slater was brought to tears as the school band, cheerleaders, students and administrators filled the quad in a surprise send-off.
"It's very moving. I am trying to hold back the tears, but it's hard to do because it's such a rewarding moment in my lifetime, because I spent many years here," Slater said.
Administrators said that on the surface, the job of a custodian may seem thankless or go unnoticed, but, they say Slater was the glue that held it together.
"I think so many times when you think about education, you think about the kids and the teachers, but the kids and the teachers can't do their jobs unless people like Randy keep the rooms clean, change the light bulb, clean the toilets. Without Randy, we could not function. We could not educate our kids," said Steve Johnson, the North High vice principal.
Slater is also known for the "rooster call" that he performed for the students one more time as everyone cheered him on. The retiring custodian said he chose this job and stayed all these years for the quality of life.
"I took this job because I wanted to work for North High. I liked the benefits and insurance," said Slater.
He walked the halls as a student for four years, and then he worked the halls for more than a generation.
"The story is that Randy, a student here, the night of graduation, the custodians asked him to help clear the chairs they used to graduate at the stadium. Form that point on, he stayed here ever since," said Johnson.
"This is my family, North High, and I love them all. They are going to miss me, and I will miss them," said Slater.
Slater said he chose to retire now because of the economy and the negative effects it will have on his pension in the future. His last day on campus will be next Monday.
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