School Custodians Jamie Van Winsen and Rebecca Lyons

Onida native Jamie Van Winsen was managing the Fireside Restaurant when she saw community newcomer Rebecca Lyons out for a walk. “She was walking down the alley one day, and I was sitting on my deck, and I thought, ‘I wonder if she’d like to work part time,’ so I called her over, and she was like, ‘I wasn’t really looking for a job,’” said Jamie.

“I was walking Kari-Anne in a stroller, she was about 2-years-old,” said Rebecca about her daughter who is a senior this year. “I told her I didn’t have a babysitter, and she told me about someone who would babysit for me.”

Rebecca joined the Fireside team as a dishwasher and sometimes cook in the fall of 2004, and the pair worked together at the Fireside until the restaurant closed at the beginning of 2017. Jamie accepted a custodian position with the school right away, and Rebecca began commuting to Highmore Health for a part-time position there.

When longtime school custodian Tina Hyde retired at the end of the school year, Jamie “called Rebecca and told her ‘go apply at the school.’” Jamie and Rebecca joined Ernie Unruh as school custodians and are on their third year of working together.

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