ORONO, Minn. (WCCO) — We’ve heard the saying “It takes a village.”  That is especially true when it comes to making sure kids have a good education.

That’s why this week’s Excellent Educator is not a teacher, not a principal but a custodian who is described as the backbone of Orono High School. Used to staying behind the scenes, Ed Glover is getting some much deserved spotlight.

“It’s very unexpected,” he said of the award.

Glover does it all from keeping the floors clean and the lights turned on to even managing the school’s energy system, right from his office computer.  It’d be tough for students to learn if it wasn’t for Glover.

“Everything that needs to happen in a school happens because of him,” said David Benson, the school’s principal. “If teachers need a particular set up or if they need a mic set up, door open, furniture rearranged […] he just jumps to it.”

Glover is known most for his creative way of getting around school: In a three-wheel cart.

“I can throw packages on there with my tools or whatever I need and I get from one end of the building and another in little time,” he said.

His days of zipping through the halls of Orono High School are numbered.  After nearly 30 years, Glover plans to retire next year. When asked what he’ll miss most about coming to work every day, Glover said, “The camaraderie and all the people I’ve gotten to know and have done so much for myself and the students here,” Glover said.

To the students and staff, the school won’t be the same without him.

“He’s going to leave some big shoes to fill,” said Benson.

Glover said when he does retire, he plans to come back, visit and stay connected to the people.

The custodians have a great way they approach their jobs at Orono. They have an underlying goal of not just picking up for the students, but teaching them to begin to look after themselves.

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