The end of an era, a new beginning
Brad Myers will retire on June 28, ending a legacy of many family members who worked as custodians at Pequot Lakes School District.
Myers has been working at the school as a custodian for 28 years. His father, Bennie Myers, and his maternal grandfather, Henry Saxvold, were also custodians at Pequot Lakes Schools. Saxvold’s son, Myers’ uncle Douglas Saxvold, also worked as a custodian, as did Myers’ uncle Ray Myers. Myers is the last of his family members to retire from work at the schools.
Myers explained that he bugged the superintendent of schools at the time, Verne Dowty, for a job every month for a year. He’d finally given up on it when Dowty called and offered him the job in 1984. He was hired not long after his father’s retirement, which was the same year.
He began work at what’s now the middle level and high school building in 1985, and moved over to Eagle View before it opened, in 2004. Myers said he’s seen a lot of change since he was first hired.
“When I first started working, there were no computers,” he said. When computers began making appearances, there were only one or two, and they were huge.
More and more activities have been added since Myers began, too. When he started, there were no girls’ sports, community education classes or summer sports camps.
Now, he said, the school is busy all the time, until 9 or 10 p.m.
“It’s full all the time. There’s never a dull moment,” he said.
Myers worked evenings, and said that his favorite part was talking to the kids and the public.
He also said he got great satisfaction from his job, and felt good about entering a messy room and leaving it looking nice.
“I do take pride in my work and enjoy cleaning,” he said.
He appreciated being able to be his own boss so long as his job was done well, which it was.
Myers plans to continue substituting at the school as needed, but said he’ll enjoy being able to make his own schedule.
Before taking the position at Pequot Lakes Schools, Myers worked as a sawyer for 14 years. He runs a sawmill on his property, one of his hobbies. As well as lumber products, he makes bar tops and fireplace mantels from wood cut off his property. Some of the trees were planted by his father.
Because Myers worked evenings, he’s spent his daytime hours in the sawmill or working with his heritage breed turkeys, which he raises and sells.
He enjoys building, and began working on the home where he lives now before he graduated high school. He also built nearly all the buildings on his property in Pequot Lakes.
Myers said his retirement will allow him to spend more time with his hobbies, and he’ll also be preparing for the Highway 371 bypass. The northbound lane of the bypass is currently planned for construction over his home. He hasn’t sold his land yet, but said he has work to do to prepare for the changes.
Myers said he could write a book of his memories at Pequot Lakes Schools, and said his career has been “phenomenal.”
“It’s either the end of an era or a new beginning,” Myers said. “However you want to look at it.”