Ho retires after 31 years as custodian

After 31 years of sweeping floors and cleaning classrooms, Louie Ho has finally retired as a custodian for the Baker Public School District.

hoBy Lori Kesinger

After 31 years of sweeping floors and cleaning classrooms, Louie Ho has finally retired as a custodian for the Baker Public School District.

That means no more rising early to shovel snow on cold winter mornings, no more late nights cleaning up after ball games.

“I remember long nights cleaning up after the ball games,” Ho said. “We would share in the Spartans’ joy during a win and their sorrow over a loss.”

During his tenure, Ho enjoyed serving and working with a great faculty and administration team.

“I appreciate the kindness and opportunities that have been provided to me along the way. I have many fond memories,” Ho noted. “I will miss the smiling faces of the students. I can smile knowing that I’ve seen many seniors graduate, go out into the world and be successful in their own endeavors. It’s been like watching my own family grow through the years.”

Over the past three decades, Ho has seen a lot of changes – a new gymnasium at the Longfellow School, new football and track field at the high school, and a variety of other things.

“One of my favorite changes is the new bleachers in the high school gymnasium,” Ho said. “In the early days it used to take two people to pull out those bleachers, now it is just a push of a button!”

Born and raised in Cambodia, Ho and his wife Ping came to the United States to escape war and find a better place to live. Sponsored by the American Lutheran Church, they arrived in Baker in 1980. Ho only knew a few words in English, but found work at various businesses before getting the custodian position.

“Some people wondered if I could handle the job because I didn’t speak much English,” Ho said, “but I just started working and learning.”

Ho is the last co-worker of the original custodial staff he hired into. “I remember working with Bennie, Leonard, Paul, Myron, Sue, and Kay,” Ho said. “They are all enjoying retirement, so it is time I follow in their footsteps.”

Ho intends to take it one day at a time in his retirement. He is planning to travel, spend more time with his children and grandchildren, and visit his sister who remains in Cambodia.

“I’m excited to move on to my next adventure but I’m sad as well,” Ho expressed. “Words can’t describe how much I will miss seeing the friendly staff and students throughout the hallways, but I’m not saying goodbye, just so long, see you soon.”

      



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