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Longtime custodian retires and reminisces

August 21, 2009
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WAUSAU, WI — Retiring Monday after over four decades of cleaning Wausau School District classrooms, Jean Steckbauer reminisced about her job functions over the years, according to the Wausau Daily Herald.
Steckbauer, who worked in more than a half dozen schools in her career, including the A.C. Keifer Educational Center for the past 16 years, first picked up a mop and broom in 1969 — tools contemporary custodians use less often thanks to the advancement of high-tech equipment like hard surface buffers and sweepers, the story stated.
Steckbauer said: "When I first got hired, we [female custodians] didn''t paint or shovel or snow blow, none of that stuff. But then came women''s equal rights. I liked that kind of cleaning."
Steckbauer says she got her start cleaning on the family farm where she was in charge of keeping the barn clean growing up, the story noted.
Though officially retired, Steckbauer plans to make regular visits to the A.C. Keifer Educational Center, the site for the district''s various preschool programs, to train the new custodian and fill in when the custodian is absent, the story added.
Chris Budzinski, maintenance supervisor for the Wausau School District, said: "[Jean] brought in donuts on her last day, and I dropped half of one. I picked it up and ate it. Didn''t think twice. They were Jean''s floors."
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