After 36 years…

Custodian Kevin Wilcox retires after long career at PIHS

Custodians+Kevin+Wilcox+and+Julie+Brown+celebrate+their+years+at+PIHS.+

Abby Collins

Custodians Kevin Wilcox and Julie Brown celebrate their years at PIHS.

Abby Collins , Staff Writer

1984 – the movie Footloose was released. The first episode of Jeopardy aired. The first Tetris game dropped. And custodian Kevin Wilcox worked his first PIHS graduation. Retiring after 36 years at PIHS, Wilcox has stories and memories to share about all he’s seen – from behind the scenes.

The graduation ceremonies haven’t changed much, according to Wilcox, other than the switch from indoor to outdoor set-up for Covid starting in 2021. Wilcox explains that the indoor ceremony was easier to set up because of the routine they developed and the lower chance of something going wrong. “My favorite part was always seeing all the graduates every year and seeing the kids I did know,” Wilcox said. 

A lot of things can contribute to his decision to retire, but the physical work was really the most difficult thing to keep up with. “The bus driving, the furniture moving, waxing the floors and painting the walls,” listed Wilcox. “It’s a lot of hard work and it’s young people’s work.” There’s a lot more to setting up for events and keeping the school safe than you may think. “When I was working maintenance there were a lot of things about setting up for graduation that the crew didn’t know,” said Wilcox. 

According to Wilcox, coming to work and contributing to a safe environment for students was something he enjoyed and felt he didn’t need more recognition for.  “I enjoyed my career here, and I didn’t mind coming to work every day,” said Wilcox. “They pay us to do all that, and we’re glad to do it.” 

“I would have to say it’s true, with experience comes wisdom,” said fellow custodian, Julie Brown. “There’s always more than one way to do something, but when you’ve been doing it as long as Kevin, you know the most effective way.” Wilcox knows the ins and outs of the school and has a knack for finding more efficient ways to get things done. This experience proved to be helpful throughout his and fellow co-workers for years. 

Having watched so many seniors cross the graduation stage, Wilcox can share a piece of final advice to PIHS graduates:  “Keep pushing yourselves the ways you did in school,” he said. “Do that at work, at college, and in all your endeavors.”