SANTAQUIN, Utah County — As the school year comes to a close, an elementary is preparing to say goodbye to two longtime employees. While neither taught in the classroom, colleagues say they have been the glue that has kept the school together.
For 22 years, Lynn Smith has answered the phones in the office at Santaquin Elementary. And since 1983, when the school opened, Andrew Goudy has been the custodian, cleaning up after hundreds of students every day.
Former students were back at this school this week to thank Smith and Goudy for teaching them important life lessons outside of the classroom.
"When I went to elementary school, he was the custodian here," said Dayna Vernon, now a teacher at Santaquin Elementary. "And when I got hired on to teach here, he was still the custodian here. … Every child in this school knows Mr. Goudy. They love him. He is like a father to some, a grandfather to some, a friend to everyone."
While Goudy and Smith weren't thrilled with all the attention they were getting, they praised each other's work, especially for the personal attention they've given every student.
"She is the extra mom," Goudy said of Smith. "She can put a Band-Aid on any of the kids, and she knows exactly how to take care of them and knows where they are at. She can keep track of 800 kids any hour of the day."
“He really does care, and you can't underestimate the value of someone who knows your name, even years later,” Smith said. “He keeps track of everyone, and he knows every name of every student in our school.”
“There’s nothing routine about kids," Goudy said. “It has been a lot of fun to be part of their lives.”
Santaquin Elementary Principal Chad Argyle said measuring the influence of the two longtime staff members on thousands of students is hard to put into words.
“There is no way to describe what happens in an elementary school and the way that lives are impacted by people like Mr. Goudy and Mrs. Smith, and that will never be forgotten,” Argyle said.