Bill Hurd Retires After Nearly Three Decades of Custodial Work in Canton

School officials say Bill wasn’t afraid of hard work or speaking his mind.

The 7th of 9 children growing up in Burlington, Bill Hurd was the first of the siblings who didn’t attend high school in Canton.

Many of his brothers and sisters had attended the old Canton High School, housed in the current intermediate school building. Bill, however, went to the newly built Lewis S. Mills High School, graduating in 1966.

But in 1985 Hurd finally made it to Canton High School, taking a job as a custodian after working at a machine shop in Bristol.

He stayed in Canton for nearly three decades and today is officially retiring as head custodian at Canton High/Middle School. He also played a supervisory role in the whole district. 

Hurd said people in every position were great to him and learned to deal with his quirky personality.

“They just figured it was me after awhile,” said Hurd, who had great words to say about leaders such as superintendent Kevin Case and High School principal Gary Gula.

“I had a great relationship with (Gary Gula,) he said. “We could say what we wanted to each other.”

At a recent retirement party, Gula shared an example. Hurd would sometimes walk into Gula’s office and share two approaches to a problem, obviously favoring one of them.

They’d usually agree but as he’d walk out, Hurd would often say something to the affect of “good, because I already told the guys to go ahead and do it that way anyway.”

Middle School principal Joe Scheideler agreed that Hurd took great pride n his work and was "never bashful about letting you know how he felt about something." 

"He will be missed," Scheideler said. 

Gula said Hurd is extremely intelligent and can tell who was amenable to such good-natured ribbing and who wasn’t.

When he started in 1995, Gula spent more than an hour touring the building with Hurd and quickly knew the two would get along.

“I am going to miss him so much,” Gula said. “He has been a friend who has enriched my life in so many ways. Bill is truly one of a kind — the type of person who is not easily forgotten. I am just so happy that he has been part of my live, and the lives of each of you. Bill is Canton’s national treasure.  “

Hurd, who has two kids, plans to spend winters in Florida. He said he has no grand retirement plans but plans to do a lot of fishing.

"I'm going to enjoy it," he said. "I've been working since I was 10 years old." 

a worker December 07, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Congratulations bill. I'm very happy to hear that you retired after that much time of service. I'm really happy to hear that you never got outsourced like the custodians at Utica Community Schools. The way that they were treated is it down right shame. Utica Community Schools Board of Education unfair to labor. It's time for a change it's time for a recall. (as for me?).... I'm doing well.
Gary Miller December 07, 2012 at 05:53 PM
i had the pleasure of working with Bill for 13 years while I served as the School Business Manager. Bill was a great leader, who took his job seriously and cared for the welfare of those he supervised. We never once had a problem we couldn't workout--often at the picnic table. I can't imagine the Canton Schools without his leadership and valuable contributions. Gary Miller


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