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Maintaining pride on the job

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Submitted photo Greg Gregory recently retired after 30 years with Weston County School District No. 1, working in the maintenance department. Gregory was the maintenance director since 2009. His plans now include fishing and camping.
KateLynn Slaamot, NLJ Reporter

Gregory retires as schools maintenance director after 30 years

When school goes back into session in the fall, there will be a new manager overseeing the employees who maintain the buildings and grounds for Weston County School District #1 after Maintenance Director Greg Gregory retired at the beginning of May, after 30 years of working for the district.

Gregory was born and raised in Newcastle, and graduated from Newcastle High School in 1978. He went to work as a welder at the coal mines for some time, before taking a job in maintenance for the district in 1994.

“I’ve always been interested in the maintenance and repair aspect of things,” Gregory said, noting that the job also appealed to him because the hours were much better than the shift work at the coal mine. Gregory’s kids were also still in elementary school at the time, he said, and it was fun to be able to see them and have lunch with them on occasion.

Gregory climbed the ranks in the maintenance department over the next decade and a half before  becoming the director in 2009. His No. 1 goal, he said, was making a safe environment for both kids and staff.

“The important part was a safe environment and a functional environment,” he said.

From keeping buildings warm in winter and cool in summer to just making sure everything is functional, Gregory took pride in his work and said that he always tried to make decisions that were in the best interest of the district and the community he cares so much about.

“It always gave me a lot of pride when we would have people come to our district and our facilities from out of town and compliment [us] on how well they were taken care of and how clean they were,” he added.

Superintendent Brad LaCroix has known Gregory for over 30 years, and said that the two met shortly after LaCroix moved to Newcastle.

Over Gregory’s 30 years with the district, there have been a number of big projects completed, including the new elementary and high school buildings, bus barn reconstruction, the new pool and the middle school remodel, according to LaCroix.

“I don’t know if anyone really understands just how big that job is,” LaCroix added.

He too noted that many people who visit the schools remark on the quality and cleanliness of the facilities.

“I think his [Gregory’s] legacy sort of speaks for itself as you look around Weston 1,” LaCroix said.

Gregory said he loves participating in the community he grew up in and contributing to the school district where he received his own education. Being able to be a part of the district and its day-to-day operations was an important and rewarding job, he said.

“We always felt that Newcastle was a place we wanted to raise our kids and probably spend the rest of our lives at,” Gregory said.

Even though Gregory had other opportunities pop up over the years, he said he never wanted to leave this community, and he will continue to enjoy life here in his retirement.

Gregory said he plans to tackle some “honey-do’s” for his wife, Francie, and try to squeeze in some more fishing, hunting and camping.

“It was a good run, but it was time to move on,” Gregory said, with a chuckle.

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