The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

June 29, 2010

Williams’ work ethic wins many praises

DANVILLE —  “He’s one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met in my life,” said Graham Peck, a 2004 Danville High School graduate in describing retiring custodian Frank Williams.

“He’s also one of the happiest people I’ve ever met in my life.”

Williams has had that effect on many throughout his 35 years at the school.

“He’s always taken the time to get to know the vast majority of people who have walked through that school,” Peck said.

Superintendent Mark Denman said some staffers and friends were planning a small breakfast send-off for Williams today, his last day on the job.

“He doesn’t like a lot of recognition,” Denman said, “but he’s one of those rare people that everyone in the school knows, respects and likes.”

Peck first met Williams working as a theater hand while attending North Ridge Middle School. He continued the work through high school and still keeps in contact with Williams, whom he considers a mentor.

“I did learn a lot from him,” he said. “He taught me leadership and hard work, and not to give up on a job when it gets difficult. He’s had such a big impact on so many people.”

Denman said he can’t recall a task Williams couldn’t perform during his years of service.

“Danville High School is a big operation,” he said. “He handles pressure very well. He’s a wonderful man who loves kids and would do anything to help them.”

After years as head custodian, with Denman as DHS principal, Williams eventually retained the title of events coordinator — which meant setting up, taking down and troubleshooting every school event.

Denman said he recalled watching Williams one night as the school hosted four events simultaneously without a glitch.

“With him, there’s no job that’s too big or too small,” he said. “Whatever it is, he’ll do all that he can. He’s been there in that school morning, day and night. He’s got that big red truck that sits out front.

“When you want to do something, he’s the first one you check with.”

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