School workers honored for service

jmink@macon.comOctober 24, 2012 

PERRY -- Robert Haynes knows why he has worked for Houston County schools for the past 45 years.

“It’s almost like a family,” he said.

Haynes was among the employees recently honored for decades of service to the school system. Of the eight employees recognized, Haynes has worked for Houston County schools the longest.

“If you’re in a good environment, you don’t mind working as long as you can,” he said.

Haynes initially worked as a dish washer at Parkwood Elementary school, where he stayed for 42 years. Over those years, his job title changed from lead custodian to maintenance worker. Haynes became a fixture at the school and knew most of the teachers and students who would come and go, he said. “They’re special kids.”

Three years ago, Haynes transferred to Veterans High School as a floor technician. He splits his time between that job, a gig as floor technician supervisor at Robins Air Force Base, his own janitorial service and his hobby -- drag racing. For now, he has no immediate plans to retire.

“I’m not a person to sit around,” he said. “I’m just moving.”

Like Haynes, Patty Pfost knows what it’s like to adjust from one school to another. Pfost has worked in Houston County schools cafeterias for 35 years, and she spent 28 of those years at Warner Robins High School. For the past seven years, she has been a cafeteria cashier at Lake Joy Primary School.

“It was an adjustment going from high school to this age group,” she said.

When she started working as a lunch room server, the hours were perfect because her daughter was in school, she said. Her daughter graduated in 1993, “and I’m still here,” Pfost said, adding she does not plan to retire soon.

“I have met so many people, students,” she said. “And I’m used to it. It’s kind of like a habit, a habit that’s hard to break.”

Honorees with 30 years of experience are:

• Deborah Bennett with the school nutrition department;

• Janet Dees with Lake Joy Primary School;

• Gary King with Linwood Elementary School;

• John Lewis with Warner Robins Maintenance Department;

• Willie Rumph with Warner Robins Maintenance Department;

• Judy Youmans with the central office.

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