Redwood Falls Gazette
  • Glendon Zachow enjoyed being with students

  • Being a school custodian is not a glamorous job, so Zachow admitted being caught off guard when he received the call indicating he had been nominated and selected for induction into the Redwood Valley Hall of Fame.
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  • Being a school custodian is not a glamorous job. Yet, for Glendon Zachow is was a job he very much enjoyed. Zachow has officially been retired since 2009, but since then he has filled in when they need him. Zachow accepted a custodial position with the local school district back in 1990, and he spent 19 years helping keep the school’s buildings well maintained and cleaned. For Zachow, though, there was much more to the job than just sweeping floors. Students, teachers and others who encountered Zachow as he walked the halls were greeted with a smile and a positive attitude that would help to brighten their day. Knowing he was helping people, especially the kids, face their day with at least one positive experience made everything else Zachow did on the job worth it. “I just loved being around the kids,” said Zachow, adding he always felt blessed to be doing what he did. Zachow, who was born on a farm near Danube, spent his first days in education at a country school house.
    Zachow continued his education in Hector, and in 1951 he moved to a farm site near Redwood Falls. He began attending Redwood Falls High School as a sophomore and graduated form there in 1954. After graduation, Zachow worked for the County ASC service office and worked with his brothers on their dairy farms. Some may also recall Zachow’s smiling face at the local Holiday gas station. He started his role as a custodian working in the old Lincoln school and made the move to the new Redwood Valley campus. “I figured I would work for about 10 years, but I enjoyed my work, so I stayed,” he said. Those years working at the school have provided wonderful memories for Zachow, adding he cherishes the words of appreciation, the smiles and the notes of thanks he received from students and the faculty. Zachow said he still has many of those notes. Zachow and his wife, Ruth, have established friendships with many people associated with the school, including staff and students, and he said many of those relationships continue today. Ruth said they still get calls and visits from past students, indicating just how much some of those students appreciated Zachow when he was at the school. He thinks back and is glad to know he was making a difference in the lives of those at the school. “I just said ‘hi’ to people I met and offered them words of encouragement,” said Zachow, adding those are the things people recall as they continue those relationships with him. Zachow admitted being caught off guard when he received the call indicating he had been nominated and selected for induction into the Redwood Valley Hall of Fame. “It was a shock, something I never would have expected,” said Zachow, adding he has walked by the wall of other Hall of Fame members over the years and never would have imagined he would have his name added there. “I want to thank those who nominated me. I feel very honored.” Zachow, who is going to be inducted May 7 during the Evening of the Stars event, said he is not sure what he is going to talk about, but added whatever he says is going to be “pretty short.” Zachow never looked for attention or accolades as he did his job for nearly 20 years. He just wanted to help people feel better about themselves and to let them know he cared about them.
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