The Duncan Banner

May 23, 2013

DMS plants a tree for custodian

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Tam Pham left a lasting impression on Duncan Middle School, and the school has returned the favor.

On Wednesday, the middle school, along with Duncan Public Schools administrators, recognized Pham for his 28 years of service as head custodian at Duncan Middle School. Pham retired earlier this school year. To honor Pham, the district planted a Chinese pistachio tree in front of the middle school. A base plaque was included to commemorate Pham’s dedication to Duncan Public Schools.

“He is one of the hardest working people I know,” Superintendent Sherry Labyer said. “He has planted things in people’s hearts. I am more proud to call him my friend than my co-worker.”

The presentation of the plaque and the tree were made in the front yard of the middle school. All the middle school students were witness to the event, creating a semi-circle around the tree, while Labyer, DMS Principal Mike Toone and Pham filled the remaining portion of the circle.

Labyer said Pham has been an instrumental person in the school district. She said it was important to let him know how significant he’s been.

“In the future, when you have grandchildren, you can bring them back here and show them how much you have meant to this school district,” Labyer said.

Toone said Pham is a great example of hard work and can be used as a model of what people the kind of work ethic the students should aim for. Toone said Pham may be retired from the school district, but it won’t be surprising to find him continuing to work in the yards of other people.

“He’s greatly missed,” Toone said.