Lyndonville celebrates 2 long-time employees who are retiring from school district

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 August 2023 at 7:53 am

‘Sonny’ Dent and Gary Wakefield praised for their service

Photo by Tom Rivers

LYNDONVILLE – Gary “Sonny” Dent, left, and Gary Wakefield celebrate their retirements from Lyndonville Central School on Thursday evening.

They were recognized during the Board of Education meeting, which they had a recess for a reception for the two retirees.

Dent worked for the district for 20 years with the first 15 as a groundskeeper and the past 5 years in maintenance.

“I enjoyed everything about the job,” Dent said. “I loved the kids, and the challenges.”

He said the school district is like a family. He was grateful to be a part of it for two decades.

Dent was praised by Sharon Smith, the district superintendent.

“This place worked because of you, Sonny,” she said. “Everyone here knows it. We are eternally indebted to you.”

Board of Education member Harold Suhr said Dent is “a diamond in the rough” with great character.

“He can do anything and everything, and do it with nothing,” Suhr said. “He’s done a great job. You can’t replace him.”

Wakefield worked 23 years as a custodian for the district. He said he is very thankful for a career in a school setting.

“You see the kids everyday with their smiling faces,” he said. “I made a lot of friends with the teachers.”

Wakefield battled cancer seven years ago and he said the teachers showed him great kindness which helped him get through that health challenge.

Smith said Wakefield greets everyone with a smile and is a big part while the school looks so good.

“He is one of kindest, most thoughtful guys I’ve ever met,” Suhr said during the board meeting. “Gary, your heart is bigger than this entire school building.”