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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Custodian retiring after 41 years of service

Friday, April 29, 2011

Van Buren Elementary second-grade teacher Cassy Smith (left) and school principal Gail Williams (right) helped celebrate the retirement of custodian Bobbie Cook Friday. Faculty and staff threw a party for Cook at school. Jason Moon Photo. [Order this photo]
When Bobbie Cook began her career as a custodian at Van Buren Elementary School, she didn't need a vacuum.

"When I first started, it was all tile floors," Cook said. "Now, it's all carpet. We didn't even have a vacuum."

Cook officially retired from the school after 41 years of custodial work.

She said Buzz Burgess was the principal at the school when she started. Since then, she has seen five principals come through the halls.

"When I first put my application in, this was the school that had an opening," Cook said.

The 63-year-old Carbon resident was treated to a surprise retirement party Friday by faculty and staff. Second-grade teacher Cassy Smith spearheaded the event, baking a cake along with cupcakes. In addition, Smith decorated for the event.

Cook collects frogs. Those traveling through the school Friday noticed several frogs the students had colored and placed in the hallways.

Smith also asked all faculty and staff to wear green for the special occasion. Except for Cook.

"I'm very surprised," Cook said. "These are nice people. I'll miss them.

"They're a good group. I'm really going to miss them all. I've been through a lot of these people. Some of them were students here."

Van Buren Principal Gail Williams said it would not be the same walking through the school hallways without seeing Cook.

"She's quite a fixture," Williams said. "It's sad, but we're happy for her."

Cook has always worked in the elementary building. She and her husband Jack put in 68 total years of service with Clay Community Schools. Bobbie said Jack not only drove a school bus, but also served as a custodian.

Now, she said she and her husband plan to travel a little more. They have two stepchildren and three grandchildren.

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Congratulations Bobbie! You have been great for these kids and for the school. They will have some big shoes to fill because you are an one of a kind special person. Have a great retirement and enjoy!

-- Posted by smoke20fan on Mon, May 2, 2011, at 8:01 AM

Aunt Bobbie....you are the best and I wish you nothing but happiness. I know that the girls will miss you being at school to see them...they were crying on Friday after school = )

I (like many others) have many memories of you (and Uncle Jack) while roaming the halls of good ol' VBE! I know that everyone will miss you.

I sure hope that they can find someone else who can measure up to what you mean out there.

Love ya!

-- Posted by JQuick on Mon, May 2, 2011, at 9:08 AM

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