For Faye Mudd, serving in the Waterloo School District has been a lifelong passion.
“I’ve worked for the school ever since I was little bitty,” she recalled. “In grade school, there were days when we got to take turns working in the cafeteria. Then, I worked in the cafeteria all through high school.”
After graduating from Waterloo High School, Mudd was officially hired as a custodian for the school district on Jan. 1, 1981.
Her 40-year-career ended Jan. 29, when Mudd celebrated her final day in that role before retirement.
“I feel great,” she said of being retired. “I feel so happy.”
Over the years, Mudd said she has done innumerable jobs within the district, including as a custodian, crossing guard and ticket taker at football games.
“When you get hired as a custodian, you work for the whole school district, so I’ve done a lot of different things,” she said. “Whatever they asked me to do, I did.”
An FFA alumna, Mudd also made time to go above and beyond to contribute to students’ success and enjoyment of their high school days.
“I would always go back and support the kids by going to plays, sporting events and things like that,” she said. “I support the kids with all the activities and things they do.”
That was easy for Mudd because she said her favorite part of working in the school district was the people – including students and co-workers.
“I loved noticing how everyone kept excelling and succeeding. Everybody couldn’t have been nicer,” she said, noting that many students, like her, returned to work in the district after graduating. “I always did say we have good students and good people working over there. The students made my day. It was like a family.”
Another benefit of working in the district, instilled in Mudd by her parents, was that her job provided “an open door to learning.”
“You’re in an environment with an open door to education, and you can go off in any direction,” Mudd explained. “I did learn so much because the teachers were always so wonderful with answering any question I had. They always guided me just as an employee there.”
While Mudd said she will miss some of that in retirement, she plans to remain in touch with many of the individuals who made her job special.
She also will continue to attend school events and travel some, along with other, currently undefined plans.
“I’m looking forward to enjoying the sweetness of life,” Mudd summarized.