Longtime local school employee retires

Krystle Wagner • Oct 1, 2018 at 9:00 AM

After dedicating more than 30 years to caring for local schools, Ted Rescorla’s role is changing.

Rescorla is now officially retired after working 33 years for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, where he served as the director of operations. For the past six years, the 60-year-old lifelong Tri-Cities-area resident also had a shared service contract with the Spring Lake school district, where he served as the director of maintenance.

A 1976 Spring Lake High School alumnus, Rescorla first gained experience in his career path while in high school. Through his freshman and senior year, Rescorla worked in Spring Lake Public Schools’ buildings and grounds department as a summer employee. At the time, his father also served as the district’s “Chief of Plants,” which is called the operations department.

The work involved cleaning mechanical units, changing belts, repairing student lockers and cleaning the inside of boilers — among other tasks. Rescorla said the hard work the staff put into getting buildings ready for the next year was something he had an interest in.

“Our biggest overall responsibility in the operations department is the health and safety of not only the students and staff, but also the community member or a visitor to our district who steps through the front doors or who may be utilizing the district playgrounds and athletic fields,” Rescorla said.

Over the years, Rescorla enjoyed working on projects — beginning with working with architects and construction managers to watching how a building comes together. He said that voters “instilled their faith” in how the district manages projects by passing bond proposals for additions, renovations, the aquatic center, stadium, safety enhancements and technology upgrades.

Completing projects on time and keeping the district’s best interests in mind when choosing components for cost efficiency and longevity were among some of his responsibilities.

GHAPS Director of Technology Brian Wheeler has worked with Rescorla for 19 years. Wheeler described his longtime co-worker as laid-back, personable and someone who cares about his employees. Over the years, Wheeler said Rescorla taught him how to read blueprints and learn the process of construction.

Another thing Rescorla taught Wheeler was patience. Given delays that happen in construction and how things don’t go according to plan, Wheeler said he learned how Rescorla worked through it and handled things.

“I’ll certainly miss him not being around there,” Wheeler said.

Through Rescorla’s time with the district, he served and cared for the district’s buildings like they were his own, said GHAPS Superintendent Andy Ingall.

“We will miss his deep institutional knowledge and thank him for all he has done to contribute to our schools,” Ingall said.

Looking ahead, Rescorla said he doesn’t like to sit around, so people can expect him to be around, whether it’s in the same line of work or a new area that piques his interest.

As he prepares for his next adventure, Rescorla said he hopes to leave both districts knowing it was a “good run.”

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be able to be the caretaker of the community’s school districts and hope they know that I committed myself to give them what they deserved in being a good steward of the district’s building and grounds,” he said.

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