A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Voices from the Classroom: “Mr. Steve” Meyers is everyone’s favorite person at Beechwood

By Amanda Klare
Beechwood Elementary

Teachers aren’t supposed to have favorites, but I do.

Each year I tell my students on the first day of class that I will love them all, but that my favorite person in the whole building is one of our school’s head custodians, Mr. Steve. Steve Meyers has been a part of the Beechwood family since 2009. As soon as he joined our staff, he took the time to get to know all of the faculty, students, and families of the district.

Mr. Steve on Beechwood’s front lawn with a senior after the graduation ceremony in 2017 (provided photos).

His responsibilities on paper are to take care of and maintain the building, but he goes above and beyond his daily contractual duties by taking care of the people in the building too. It’s the little things that he does that make him so beloved by all of the Beechwood community. On days off, you can find Mr. Steve at school events such as the color guard and band competitions or cheering on the Tigers on the ball field.

He greets each student by name and he knows what activities they’re involved in. He’ll ask them about their sports seasons, clubs and classes as he passes them in the hallway. He’s the guy that asks, “You need anything?” to teachers as he walks by classrooms when you know his list of things to do is longer than everyone else’s combined.

On snowy days, teachers go out to their cars at the end of the workday to only find that Mr. Steve reported early for his night shift to wipe off everyone’s cars.

Ashley Ritchie, one of our elementary teachers was on maternity leave this winter after having twins, but her oldest daughter Eleanor was still coming to school each day; Mr. Steve made it a point to ask Eleanor how she was doing whenever he ran into her. One day she told him about her tooth that she lost that day at school, and Mr. Steve gave her a dollar from the Tooth Fairy because he realized that the Tooth Fairy at home might be a little bit preoccupied.

Another Beechwood faculty member, Kendall Niemeyer spoke on behalf of the staff by saying that when you need help, Steve is always there within minutes when you need him. “He’s super patient even when I rearrange my furniture in the classroom one hundred times.”

Mr. Steve giving the girls their bracelets.

Morgan Fritz, a proud Beechwood alumna, recounted about a memory of Mr. Steve from four years ago. “When I was a senior in high school, he came to my classroom and pulled me out into the hall to give me a Beechwood bracelet before I graduated. It was the sweetest gesture and meant so much to me. He goes out of his way and above the call of duty to make relationships with students.”

When asked about Mr. Steve, Beechwood parent, Mary Kay Laird had the following praise to share, “Steve gave me his cell phone number while my son Miles was in high school so I could call whenever I needed him after hours. I called him several times at ten o’clock at night because Miles left his cell phone at school and we needed to get in the building. He’s also looked for clothing and bags when one of my kids lost them at school. Miles also worked with the maintenance crew for a while and they brought him a walkie-talkie to use just like they have.” She went on to add,

“Personally, I love his hugs and warm smile every time I see him. He would give you the shirt off his back. He’s a great man.”

Two of Beechwood’s finest Mr. Steve and Miles Laird.

Our Beechwood Girls on the Run team members were the most recent recipients of Mr. Steve’s kindness. As a reward for finishing their season, Mr. Steve called them all into the front office to give each girl a tiger paw bracelet with a poem attached. This isn’t the first time that he has done this. He’s also been known to show up on the course to cheer on the girls as they run their 5K race in downtown Cincinnati.

A few months ago I was on Facebook when a picture came up with the quote that said, “I was raised to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO.” Beechwood students know that Mr. Steve and the rest of our maintenance staff are some of the most important people in our building and that they are to be treated with the utmost respect.

I always tell Steve that he can’t retire until I do because I truly don’t know what Beechwood would be like without him. Until that day comes, I will appreciate hearing Mr. Steve’s laughter echoing the halls and all of the little things that he does for the faculty, students, and families of Beechwood.

Steve Meyers isn’t just my favorite person in the building, he is everyone’s favorite person at Beechwood.

Amanda Klare is a fourth grade teacher at Beechwood Elementary. She is also editor of Voices from the Classroom which appears regularly at the NKyTribune. To contact her, amanda.klare@beechwood.kyschools.us

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