ST. CLOUD - After over three decades of maintaining and cleaning St. Cloud schools, there isn’t much that surprises Steve Keller anymore.

"Pretty quiet right now because everyone is in class," Keller says while walking the hallways of Madison Elementary one morning, "10 o'clock is when it breaks loose because that's when lunch time usually starts."

He's done it all since he was hired by the district in 1985. He started as an engineer in the District Administrative Offices and Wilson-Jefferson buildings. His favorite memories over the years consist of kids saying 'hello' to him in the hallways and admiring his work.

"One time these five girls were sitting there watching me work. Then one little girl gets up and says: "We're watching the amazing Steve show! That was pretty cool-I cracked up about it."

Steve Keller (Dan DeBaun, WJON)

Keller has been the lead engineer at Madison Elementary since 1996. He's often one of the first to come and last to leave, starting at or before 5:30 a.m.

Keller knows the building inside and out. Always well aware of the unpredictability of keeping a building maintained with hundreds of elementary aged kids.

"You never know what will come over the radio: a vomit in room 104, or there's a pencil sharpener that needs repair, or somebody spilled. It can be anything and everything," Keller says with a laugh.

He does all of this with a contagious laugh and upbeat attitude.

"I always try to be positive at work and have a good time, a few laughs never hurt anybody-I'll tell you that."

What makes it all worth it to him? Knowing it’s making a difference for local kids. After 30 years, Keller is finding plenty to smile about.

"You just can't believe time goes that fast."

 

Steve Keller in the boiler room in Madison Elementary. (Dan DeBaun, WJON)