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What Mr. Green does in Vegas

It’s obvious building and grounds supervisor Greg Green is loved by many in the St. Croix Central School District. It’s not often someone is given a surprise vacation.

“The idea for a surprise vacation for Greg started the second week of school,” SCC Elementary fourth-grade teacher Ann Leque said. “Several of us were talking about how challenging the fire, Panther Camp and the cleaning and remodeling of the elementary school must have been for Greg.”

In the midst of that conversation, someone said it would be nice if Green could get away for a break, Leque said.

“The idea grew and several people were involved in the process of letting everyone know, so they could donate to ‘Greg’s Vacation’ account,” Leque said.

The idea traveled to the middle and high schools, as well as retired SCC staff. Leque said Citizens State Bank in Roberts set up an account for the donations, free of charge, and the donations poured in.

“Everyone knows all that Greg does for this district, above and beyond,” Leque said. “People were so generous. It was really a way for us to let Greg know how much we appreciate him. It was a secret until January when Mr. (Tim) Widiker (SCC superintendent) told him.”

Green said he caught wind of a plot because within the span of a few days, he had three people ask him when he was going to Las Vegas, or if he had enjoyed his trip.

“It seems like a dream now,” Green said. “I kept wondering ‘why would they think I’d been there? Why is everyone asking me that question?’ So I texted Steve (Sanders, interim SCC Elementary principal) and asked and he came clean.”

At a party in his honor at the school Friday, Jan. 31, Green was presented with a certificate of appreciation and the news that he and Sanders were being sent on a four-day, three-night all expenses paid trip to Las Vegas from Feb. 2-5. The fifth is Green’s birthday.

“I was so shocked that the staff thought that much to do that,” Green said. “And that Steve could go too. I never go on vacation and they knew that.”

The trip’s itinerary was completely planned, so the two travelers didn’t have to think about a thing.

“Ann DiSalvo was great at researching and booking the vacation online,” Leque said.

Green said his flight out to Vegas was his first time ever on an airplane.

“Steve said it was one of the smoothest flights he has been on and he’s traveled a lot,” Green said. “I had nothing to compare it to, but it went well.”

Green and Sanders were able to take a bus tour to Hoover Dam and the west rim of the Grand Canyon. They met a couple of former SCC teachers who now live in Nevada for dinner and a show.

“Walking on the Strip is interesting,” Green said. “It’s deceiving the long ways between the casinos. They’re just such huge buildings.”

Green said he and Sanders visited a casino or two during their stay and he won $196 on a penny slot machine.

“All these bells and whistles were going off,” Green said. “At first I didn’t know what was going on.”

Green said he also enjoyed the warmer weather and different climate in Vegas. Though it wasn’t super warm by any means, the 55-degree temperatures during the day felt like a luxury, he said.

Green started as a custodian at SCC in 1978. He admitted to working long hours after last April’s fire at SCC Elementary during the cleanup, reconstruction and remodeling.

“There were some long days,” Green said. “You’d work all day and go home for three to four hours of sleep and get up and do it again.”

All the SCC staff and teachers sing the praises of Green, especially Sanders.

“He is the hardest working individual that I know,” Sanders said. “As I have always said, he bleeds blue. He cares about this school district like no other. Things are repaired in a timely manner. He takes so much pride in doing such a good job with any task. I have never met a person that cares so much about gettings tasks completed and allowing the staff to do their job.”

As much as Green is loved by all, he loves his job.

“I like talking with the staff,” Green said. “I like getting along with people and getting done what they need done. The ultimate goal is to get the kids in school, educate them and have them do the best they can.”

Sanders said Green makes his job as principal so much easier, knowing repairs will always be taken care of by him.

“I consider him a dear friend and was honored to go along with him to Vegas,” Sanders said. “We had a great time seeing all the sights. Glad to see him get away and enjoy himself.”

Green said he’d like to go to Vegas again, especially when the winter weather here is less than ideal.

“I can’t thank Mr. Widiker enough for keeping this going and having the certificate made,” Green said. “And Ann DiSalvo, Steve, Ann Leque. I surely don’t want to leave anyone out. Thank you.”

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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