Larry Clum – 25 Year Milestone
Custodian, The School at Springbrook
Dedicated, kind, modest—Larry. For 25 years Larry Clum, Custodian at The School at Springbrook, has committed his time, talent, and heart to the people supported by Springbrook. Larry brings a unique perspective to his work as part of Springbrook’s exceptional Facilities team—he began his career with our organization as a Direct Support Professional. After working for a time as a mechanic, Larry became a one-to-one aide for a childhood friend and neighbor, starting his Springbrook journey. When his friend moved to a new home in Binghamton, Larry transitioned to the Facilities Department, where he has remained.
Larry shared that as a young man, he always found tinkering on tractor motors a more natural fit for his abilities than spending time on academic pursuits. As a result, he had some concerns about whether or not he would be able to move to a different position with Springbrook. “I knew as long as Ronny and I were together, I’d have a job,” he said. However, when it came time to move from one-to-one aid to a member of one of Springbrook’s support departments, he was happily surprised. “It was unbelievable how friendly and nice the people were and how much they helped me. With my trouble reading and writing, I was invited to bring my wife to help. Everyone took their time with me with a smile. It was clear everyone was there to help,” he shared about his transition. This moment in his career was the first of many that he shared with us, which highlight for him the heart and dedication of the employees who make Springbrook unique. “It is magnificent how kind and respectful the people are here. When you come to work with the children here, it opens people’s hearts. It gives them a desire to help,” he said.
Larry is candid about his career with Springbrook, admitting that it hasn’t always been a “bed of roses.” In 25 years, he has experienced numerous organizational changes and less than perfect relationships with coworkers or supervisors. But, he shares that “the kids make the day” and that as long as you keep them in mind, the rest is inconsequential. This perspective is at the heart of his advice for new staff, or anyone interested in joining the Springbrook team.
“I love to spend time with the kids. They do more for me then I could ever do for them. They make my days. Working for Springbrook, you are going to invest your effort and time, so you should want to be doing it. No one has to see you doing a task. If you do it right, they will see the results, and thank you for your time. I would always rather have someone tell me I did a good job then for them to have to ask me to get started with something. If you do something, do it right.”
Among Larry’s most memorable moments with Springbrook was being invited by former School at Springbrook student, Mason, to accompany the graduate for his graduation processional. To share in a student’s celebration of the culmination of years of hard work was a profound honor and one that Larry said he will always remember. Larry’s exceptional work ethic, optimism, and positive attitude are only a few of the reasons Springbrook is fortunate to count him among our fantastic group of Milestone Employees.
We’ll wrap up this celebration of Larry’s career with his words—shared with us when we asked if there was anything he wanted to be sure we included.
“Springbrook is a place where everyone shows respect. I admire the staff and teachers who work directly with the students here. They do their jobs with respect for the students. And, I admire the work that Seth (Haight) and Patricia (Kennedy) do every day. They make hard decisions. Throughout this time [COVID-19], their decisions have kept all of us working because they respect the work we all do. They are working every day so that I can keep my job, so I do my job to the best of my ability. When we move past this [COVID-19], I think we will all be closer. Springbrook has stuck with all of us through the bad, and I know they’ll be here through the good!”
Thank you, Larry, for 25 years of unwavering commitment!