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Elementary school custodian prepares for retirement after 45 years with Tulsa Public Schools

Posted at 8:30 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 21:30:33-05

TULSA, Okla. -- Faye Johnson was only 19 when she started working at TPS in 1973, moving to Lindbergh Elementary just a few years later.

The custodian and site supervisor said in the last four decades, the job became more than just keeping campus clean.

"Provide some of the love and affection that they're not getting at home. It just grew on me," Johnson said.

Offering hugs whenever needed, Johnson opened up the school to multiple generations.

"I'll be in the office sometimes and they'll come in and say "Hi Ms. Johnson, this is my daughter. This is my son, coming to school here." So I say "That lets you know I'm getting old," she said.

Johnson said if she could, she would stay at the school longer. She tells 2 Works for You the joy of the position is watching the children grow.

"If it wasn't for my health I'd still be here. But I can't be as effective as I once was so I think it's time," Johnson said.

Johnson suffers from arthritis and pain in her back, making daily tasks a bigger challenge. She's leaving as TPS works to hire custodians and support staff across the district.

"It's just going to take time. Whoever comes in and fills her shoes is going to need probably 40 years to get to the point where they respect that person like they do Faye," Lindbergh principal James Isaacs said.

Johnson will work her last shift right before winter break, and said it's the Lindbergh family she'll miss the most.


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