Oroville custodian celebrated during retirement parade

Joe Vaughan said though he won't be working at the school, he still plans to visit as a classroom volunteer in his grandson's class.

Posted: May 29, 2020 2:52 PM
Updated: May 29, 2020 10:23 PM

OROVILLE, Calif. - Stanford Avenue Elementary's head custodian retired on May 29 after 30 years at the school and a parade was there to give him a kind farewell.

Joe Vaughan, better known as Mr. Joe, has family roots in Oroville and was raised there himself before he and his wife raised their own kids in the city.

The school said in a statement Vaughan was "the glue that kept [their] school rolling along through many changes over the past 30 years."

Early in his career at the school, Vaughan started a program called "Joe's Kids" with students receiving prizes at the end of the school year for perfect attendance, much like his own report cards from kindergarten to high school. Over the years, the program gave out bikes, sports equipment and games.

For the students, the school said Mr. Joe took under his wings kids who were having trouble and would talk them through the problem of their day.

"Kids love and respect Mr. Joe and would do anything for him and to earn his respect in return," the school shared. "Teachers, administrators, office & cafeteria personnel all rely on Joe, as well as love & respect him immensely. His kindness, fairness, dedication, and caring nature for every individual sets him apart."

The head-custodian went above and beyond for the students at the school and would bring in tools and examples to a class who he knew were studying a particular subject.

Whether it be festivals, fundraisers, dress-up days or throwing pumpkins off a roof for a math unit, Vaughan was always there and involved, the school shared.

"He leaves a wonderful legacy behind," said one teacher. "Those who knew Joe or had the privilege of working with him, feel a huge hole in their heart today.”

Vaughan said though he won't be working at the school, he still plans to visit as a classroom volunteer in his grandson's class.

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