When Stephen Benedict started his employment at the South Colonie Central School District 37 years ago, he certainly had one friend at work-his father.
Though he rarely worked directly under his father's supervision, Benedict followed in his father's footsteps through the halls of the district's buildings, and now, as he prepares to travel cross-country during his retirement which was made effective on Monday, Oct. 19, Benedict waves goodbye to his position as Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, as well as the many friends he has made in the district over the past many years.
Benedict started at the district as a part-time custodian and in 1973 came on full-time as a custodian and mechanic. After working in that position for 15 years, he worked for another 17 years as a mechanic in the Buildings and Grounds department, and shortly after became the coordinator of maintenance and custodial services before falling into his most recent role.
Benedict said that his experience working with the Buildings and Ground department in the past helped him a great deal when it came to learning the ropes of the superintendent position he is retiring from.
Taking over the position is Michael O'Neil, who will be responsible mostly for the buildings and grounds aspect of the job. O'Neil, after having spent nearly 30 years working with Benedict, said that he is happy to have learned so much from Benedict and wishes him well in the future.
He taught me pretty much everything I know, he said.
O'Neil said he does not plan to implement too many changes, but instead, follow many of the things Benedict has done in the past.
While Benedict achieved what many hope to at their jobs, moving up the ranks to a supervisory position, his favorite memories are from his earliest years at the district, he said.