Tom Tyne retiring after longtime connection to Grandview Heights Schools

Alan Froman
ThisWeek group
Tom Tyne is retiring from the facilities department at Grandview Heights Schools after more than 20 years. Tyne has been associated with the district for 55 years, including his time as a student.

Tom Tyne has been connected with Grandview Heights Schools for most of his life.

He attended school from kindergarten until he graduated from Grandview Heights High School in 1972.

After a seven-year tour of duty in the U.S. Army, Tyne returned to his hometown and established his own carpet-cleaning business.

For about 21 years, Tom Tyne Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners provided carpet-cleaning services to the district.

Then in 2000, Tyne joined the district full time as a member of the facilities staff.

His years in Grandview have been sweet, Tyne, 67, said.

But for Tyne, that time is drawing to a close.

He will retire Feb. 28 and move with his wife, Debbie, to West Virginia. Debbie, like Tom, attended Grandview schools from kindergarten through graduation.

"I'm really going to miss Grandview," said Tyne, who lives in Upper Arlington. "It was a wonderful place to grow up and to go to school.

"Part of the pleasure I got from working in the schools was being able to give something back to the community for all it's given me," he said.

Most people find their old school seems a lot smaller when they pay a return visit.

Tyne said he had the same sensation when he began providing carpet-cleaning services to Grandview schools after his time in the army.

But what he really has enjoyed over the past four decades, he said, is watching the growth and maturation of the students and the community.

"When I think about what Grandview was like when I was a boy, it's been amazing to watch the changes through the years in the community itself and in the school district," Tyne said. "I can remember when I was in elementary school at Edison Elementary and we'd go out to the playground and we'd look at Summit Chase being built. It just kept going higher and higher. It changed the town."

A sadder memory is of fourth grade.

"We had been out having recess after lunch, and when we came back into the school, we learned President (John F.) Kennedy had been shot," Tyne said. "They made an announcement. They sent us home that day. That's a memory none of us can forget."

When Tyne was hired full time by the district in 2000, he first worked as a custodian at Edison before taking on the groundskeeper position at the high school.

"I really get a kick out of watching the students as they grow up and graduate," he said.

After he graduated, his return visits to his old school often would include paying a visit to the facilities staff members.

One of the people he listed as a reference on his resume was Leroy "Dutch" Salzgarber, who was a staff member during Tyne's school days.

"Dutch and the other guys, they really had been like friends to us," Tyne said. "I think that continues today. We're adults, but we're not teachers. It's a little easier for students to relate to us."

It's easy for anyone, adult or student, to make friends with Tyne, said Brett Bradley, director of district services and facilities.

"He's been such an important part of our facilities department for so long," Bradley said. "Tom's always willing to take on any role that's asked of him and help out anyone any way he can."

Tyne's the ultimate team player, Bradley said. 

"I'm really going to miss him," he said.

"In the 2 ½ years I've been here, I've always found Tom to be positive, hardworking and always looking to help someone," Grandview Heights High School principal Rob Brown said. "He's amazing."

It's difficult to find someone more dedicated to Grandview, he said.

"One Sunday morning, for some reason, I had to stop by the school – I think it was to let someone in to play basketball," Brown said. "There was Tom, planting flowers by the gym – on a Sunday morning."

Tyne said he and Debbie are moving to West Virginia to be closer to some of her family members who own farms in the state and to enjoy the state's natural beauty.

"I'll be coming back to Grandview on occasion," he said. "They're going to invite me to come back when the new school building is dedicated, and I can't wait for that."

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