South Colonie Buildings and Grounds Super retires

"I guess I enjoyed my earlier-on career at the district because I enjoyed the hands-on jobs," he said.

By being constantly challenged at work, Benedict was able to learn more about things he did not know about and grow increasingly more comfortable in his position.

Another of his favorite memories was working in the schools year after year, especially during holiday seasons, and being able to see the excitement on the students' faces when they came to school.

"It's always great to see how excited the young kids get around the holidays," he said.

While the memories are bright, Benedict also said he was faced with many challenges during his time at the district.

"One of the major challenges is all the new laws that come up," he said, explaining that state mandates often pop up out of nowhere, and bringing the district into compliance with those mandates can at times be tricky.

Benedict prides himself on working swiftly to bring the district into "greener" cleaning practices, eventually leading the district to win awards on its eco-friendly practices. But Benedict also said that it is the district's eagerness to reach these environmentally-friendly goals that have made his job easier over the years.

"South Colonie is very proactive and we are probably ahead of most school districts in everything," he said. "We meet once a month and discuss everything and anything."

Benedict was also proud of how the district responded to the H1N1 virus outbreak this year, saying that the district has been touted for having one of the earliest responses, in terms of placement of hand sanitizer dispensers, in comparison with other local districts.

For as much as the district has gained from Benedict, he has also gained a lot from the district, he said, including the great experiences he had with his father whenever they would work at the same time.

"It was a great part of my life because I not only got to have my dad working on jobs [with me]," he said. "But we developed a great working relationship. I think we became a lot closer on the job."

Benedict is not the last of his family members to work in the district, as his daughter currently is employed by South Colonie.

For more on this story, check back at www.spotlightnews.com, or read the Wednesday, Oct. 21, print edition of the Colonie Spotlight.""

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