Local custodian to retire after nearly 50 years on the job

Published: May. 14, 2019 at 12:23 PM CDT
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After almost 50 years on the job, a custodian in Grant County is finally turning in her mop. 65-year-old Donna Beyer has been the custodian at Winskill Elementary School in Lancaster since 1972. She applied, interviewed, got the job, and started all on the same day.

“He says ‘guess what you got your mittens on and everything you are going to work’ I said ‘oh today yet?’ he said oh yeah you are going to be trained in today,” Beyer recalls. Her first job was to clean the boy’s bathroom.

For Beyer, the past 48 years have flown by. “Oh my gosh, yes. Years just went ZOOM. Yeah I can’t believe I have that many years in already, I don’t know where they went,” she said with a laugh.

When asked why she has stayed on at Winskill for so long, Donna said: “I don’t know it just happened. Someone asked me a long time ago would you ever give your job up? and I said no, I love my job,”

Beyer has seen thousands of students over the years, some of whom are now grandparents themselves. Beyer has a special relationship with the students. Many of them call her “grandma Donna”.

“I like that the kids call me grandma because I am a grandma,” she said. “It feels really good, I just love those little kids,”

Beyer often gets bombarded with hellos and hugs in the hallways. She often calls the students her “little helpers.”

“They know her she helps take care of them,” said kindergarten teacher Brenda Mezera. Mezera has worked with Beyer for the past 23 years. Mezera was also a student at Winskill when Beyer was in the early part of her career.

“Her work ethic has always amazed me and that’s a long time to stay in one position and almost unheard of so we are very blessed to have that,” said Mezera. “She’s just so easy to talk to and so easy going,”

Working alongside thousands of young children over the years means that Beyer has cleaned up many memorable messes.

“If someone asks you to clean up a puker, you go clean it up. You don’t just sit there and go I can’t clean up a puker…you do it!”

When she retires this November, Beyer plans to exercise more and spend more time with her two sons and two grandchildren.

“My two boys said good for you mom it’s time for you to retire,”