A Red-Carpet Farewell for Beloved custodian

By Evan Hofsess

Over the last 12 years, we have had a really special person at BBES: Mr. Sam Bullock.  A veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army National Guard for seven years, Mr. Bullock was the head custodian at BBES since 2008, coming to us from Deal School. He worked hard to keep the school clean and repaired while making a lot of friends along the way. These friends were a big mix of students and staff. I always saw him greeting everyone as he walked past in the hallway in school and also out of school. 

Sadly, December 23 was Mr. Bullock’s last day as he is heading into retirement at the age of 70. Custodian Phil Henderson will take over his position. Everyone at BBES will miss Mr. Bullock, but he will be remembered and loved!

I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Bullock before he left.

EH : How do you feel about retiring?

SB: I feel good about it. 

EH : What were your likes and dislikes of your job?  

SB: Well, my likes were, I love being around children. And I don’t have many dislikes, but the only dislikes I had was the snow outside. 

EH : During your time here, do you think the school has changed?

SB: Yes, it has changed drastically. 

EH : How?

SB: It was a change for the better. My first year here, we didn’t have air conditioning. It was very hot here, and there were a lot of renovations that took place here. Yes, it has been a great change!

EH : What would you like for people to remember about you?

SB: By always trying to be kind to everyone. I try to be kind to everyone.  We became a family here at Bradley Beach Elementary School, and everyone has been very nice and accommodating to me. I made a lot of friends. 

EH : Are there any aspects of your job that you will miss?

SB: I will miss being around people and children because the social connection was always really good! And when you don’t have social connections, then you’re going to miss that. 

EH : What are you looking forward to after retirement? 

SB: After retirement, I plan to go full time into ministry because I am involved in clergy work and continue going to the hospitals and communities to reach out to them. 

On the last day before winter break, BBES teachers and staff rolled out the red carpet for him (made out of bulletin board paper) and cheered for him to give him a nice send-off. Dr. Wisniewski called him “the best person I know.” 

There were tears in teachers’ eyes. Mr. Bullock smiled and waved, walking towards his wife as she welcomed him into retirement.

We will miss you, Mr. Bullock!  We hope you enjoy your retirement!

Mr. Sam, leaving BBES for the last time as an employee.

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