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Palm Coast Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 5 months ago

Rymfire Elementary maintenance man retires after 13 years

Tom Jones started working for RES when it opened in 2006.
by: Paige Wilson Community Editor

Beloved Rymfire Elementary School maintenance man Tom Jones is retiring after serving the Roadrunners since the school’s opening in 2006.

“At first, you know everybody because we all worked there, but then people moved away and we’d get new ones. Times change,” Jones said. “I met a lot of good people, a lot of nice teachers. It was like a family for a long period of time.”

Jones had only moved to Palm Coast one year prior to finding his work home at RES. The now dean of RES, Heather Doutrick, started at the same time Jones did, but as a teacher. The two got to work closely together in the early days, as well as this past year when she became dean, she said.

“We’re sad to see him go, but I’m excited he’ll get to ride his motorcycle, his Harley, whenever he wants,” Doutrick said.

Before getting back on the motorcycle, Jones has to have a hernia repair surgery, he said.

He’ll still be around his tools though. He is currently working to fix up an antique lawn mower that’s similar to one to he rode around on as a child in Kentucky.

“I’ve been a mechanic and tool man most of my life, so that’s my hobby,” Jones said.

He said he’s also thinking about getting a part-time job to stay busy.

“I don’t want to get too lazy,” he said.

Doutrick said Jones was always there to fix whatever needed fixed at RES, from toilets, painting, wall repairs, lights, blinds and even pencil sharpeners.

“Through the years, he’s always smiling,” she said. “We just laugh together; he’s a fun guy.”

In honor of his retirement, RES Principal LaShakia Moore gave Jones a plaque with a hammer on it.

“I thought it was pretty neat,” Jones said. “They don’t have to give me anything really, but the new principal there, she’s real nice.”

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