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Longtime Montgomery Co. Public Schools custodian retires after nearly 50 years

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 5:22 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - A longtime and beloved custodian at Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is retiring.

He has been working and serving at the district since he was 13-years-old. He started out by helping around the schools, and it turned into a career.

Many call him David or Mr. Hodge but to a few -- they know him as Dad or Paw Paw.

“He has done so much for the schools and for the whole community,” said his wife Joyce Hodge.

“I feel like we have we are all facing retirement because it has been such a big part of all of our lives for -- for as long as I’ve been born,” said his daughter Grace Sarver.

“He loves the Lord. He loves his family and he loves MCPS,” said his daughter Tracy Evans.

David Hodge has been working with MCPS for nearly 50 years.

“There’s been busted water pipes in the middle of the night that he shows up for, any alarm calls for any of the schools, he gets the call he walks the police officers through - you know, to make sure that the buildings are safe, the kids are safe,” said Evans.

His family says he is the man working behind the scenes making sure schools are safe, clean and ready.

“When the roof caved in at Blacksburg High School, he worked around the clock until it was cleaned up. People were saying, and people were ready to go to school and after everything that happened, school was on time,” said Joyce.

Even into the pandemic, he trained almost the entire MCPS staff on COVID-19 safety standards to ensure kids could get back to school safely.

“He’s strong in his faith and in his work ethic,” said Sarver.

“He doesn’t do it for the glory, or for anything, he does it because he wants to do it and because he’s that loyal and dedicated,” said Evans.

And when asked why he did it all, he simply said:

“And truly, I mean Montgomery County Public Schools is one of the best places that I probably could have chosen to work and in a career such as this,” said David Hodge. “I just feel great. Looking forward to other things and look forward to retirement.”

During Hodge’s career, he and his wife raised four daughters and took in four foster children.

He now has nine grandchildren.

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