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After 3 decades of service, Lynum retires from SV schools

Steven Lynum will sson be retiring as Spring Valley School District supervisor of buildings and grounds; his last working day will be Feb. 16. Lynum spent 33 years working at the school and said he will greatly miss the people he works with. He is pictured with wife Peggy. Submitted photo

For more than three decades, a Spring Valley man has served the school district in various roles and on Feb. 16 he will be done working at the school.

Steven Lynum, Spring Valley School District supervisor of buildings and grounds, has been with the Spring Valley School District for 33 years. He started as a bus driver, then became a janitor. For the past 21 years he has served as supervisor of buildings and grounds.

Lynum said his family has been in the Spring Valley area for generations. His great grandfather on his dad's side came from Norway and settled in the Spring Valley area in 1869. In addition, his mom's family is native to the Spring Valley area as well.

"My mother graduated from [Spring Valley] school in 1924," Lynum said. "Her grandparents came to this town before it was a town."

Lynum himself attended Spring Valley schools; his education started in a little one-room schoolhouse (Wildwood) five miles northwest of town. He said he, his wife Peggy, their four children (Stacey, Jason, Jake and Josh), his six brothers, four sisters, and 17 nieces and nephews all graduated from the district; he currently has five grandchildren that attend Spring Valley.

His first experience working in the Spring Valley schools came while Lynum was still in high school. He said both of his parents had died while he was still in school and the principal at the time (Brian Kirby) gave him a job.

"He [Kirby] had a big heart and got me a job to have extra spending money," Lynum said.

While he may have started at the school early on, Lynum said he hadn't thought he'd make a career of working at the school. But that changed when he became a bus driver for the district 33 years ago.

"I got myself in the door here and [did] what they wanted and kept moving ahead," Lynum said. "[Kept] people satisfied with what I do."

During his time, Lynum has worked with many people and has enjoyed his time with everyone.

"I've been through three district administrators, five principals, I don't know how many board members and many teachers over the 33 years," Lynum said. "The crews that I've had the opportunity to work with, nothing but the best bunch you can run into."

Through his many years at the school, Lynum has seen many students come through the doors and has always strived to give them the best environment to learn.

"I give them the safest best place to be," Lynum said.

The students, Lynum said, are some of the brightest and best in the area.

"I've always had good kids here," Lynum said. "Our kids are second to none, pretty level-headed and will grow up to lead this country some day."

He joked that he knew it was important to treat the students well because he never knew if they would come back to the school after graduation.

"I always thought it a good idea to show every kid decency and kindness," Lynum said. "Someday they will be on the school board which has happened time and time again."

His appreciation and respect for the students and staff also extends to the Spring Valley community. He emphasized that as far as small towns go, Spring Valley is unique in how the people treat each other.

"This town, it's not like other towns, more of a big family," Lynum said. "It's always a good place to be (a small town like Spring Valley.)"

Once he is done at the school, Lynum will still be in the area as he has a 100-acre farm where he raises beef cattle. He admitted that he will greatly miss the people he works with and may have to go to the school for 9:30 coffee to catch up.

Over the past 33 years, Lynam admits he has learned many things about the school grounds and buildings and has tried to pass on all this information to his co-workers. But he said he is also open to answering any questions they have once he is retired.

"I'm just a phone call away," Lynum said he told the other staff. "I will come a running if you have something wrong."