The halls will be a bit emptier at Western Row Elementary next week.
Tom Bowman hung up his broom and dustpan Friday after working as the school’s custodian for nearly 20 years.
Students and staff threw a shocked Bowman a surprise send-off and farewell parade in his honor.
Staff members paraded Bowman, who occupied a seat in an honorary float decorated as a boat, through the school’s main square and down the school’s hallways, which were lined with dozens of students carrying hand-made cards and signs and giving high-fives.
Students even created and performed a special song dedicated to Bowman, written by music teacher Marylee Vennemeyer:
‘Mr. Tom Bowman, he’s a super guy,
Always working really hard, it’s sad to “Say good-bye!”
Western Row will miss this man,
more than words can say. His work is done,
it’s time for fun… fishing the day away.’
Bowman said he appreciated the send-off and was touched by the gratitude of the students and staff.
“There really are no words to describe how [this feels] for Western Row to do this for me,” he said. “I saw a lot of these teachers as students, and then now they are married and have kids of their own. It has been a blessing to work with such a great group of people.”
Bowman says he plans to spend his new leisure time fishing and completing “honey-do” chores for his wife.
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