'They go above and beyond every day': Rosemount Middle School custodian spends 3 hours in dumpster to find student’s retainer
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There are signs on the trash bins at Rosemount Middle School that say "Stop! Do you have your retainer?"
As you might expect, trash is not the only item that makes it into the bin. Sometimes those expensive dental retainers accidentally get thrown out with the Italian dunkers, walking tacos and lunches from home.
"Miss Olivia told me a little bit after we threw our lunch away, and an entire grade level after had thrown their lunch away," said teacher Sam Johnson about her student.
Johnson told custodian Shelby Walker, or ‘Mr. Shelby’ to the kids about what had happened to Olivia Loesch's retainer on Monday afternoon.
The photo she took of Mr. Shelby going piece-by-piece through the dumpster trying to find Olivia’s retainer has gone viral across social media.
"They go above and beyond every day but to spend three hours out in the cold, in a dumpster, looking for a retainer… that was just beyond me," Johnson said.
After three hours in a dumpster, Mr. Shelby found Olivia’s pink retainer.
"I was ready to give up and I looked over…. there it was. It just popped out of nowhere," Mr. Shelby said.
"Mr. Shelby is the best,” said Olivia in an interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.
All the attention of that special act didn’t sit too well with Mr. Shelby who said he was just doing his job.
"They look at us we just do bathrooms but no, we're here to be friends and make everything easy," Mr. Shelby said.
But the cell phone picture shared with him when Olivia smiled after learning the retainer was found is one he won’t forget.
Rosemount Middle School student Olivia Loesch, shown here happy after 'Mr. Shelby' spent three hours in the cold searching for her retainer. Photo courtesy of family.
“It was amazing," Mr. Shelby said. “Just a happy feeling."
The middle school's principal had nothing but encouraging things to say about the hard-working custodian.
"Very humble, goes about his work every day. A lot of things he does that are unknown, just keeping the building operating for the kids, us, and the community," said Principal Eric Hansen. “We talk a lot about school climate and culture and he just lives it."