En-RICH-ing Students’ Lives

Custodian Rich Smith impacts AHS.


Lexi Christensen

Rich Smith poses for a picture. He enjoys having connections with students and seeing them achieve their goals.

Riley Wood

Richard Smith or “Rich” as he is known here at AHS, starts every day with a smile, greeting students and teachers. He is seen pushing a broom and emptying trash, but truly he’s changing the lives of students.

I wanted to see if I could be an influence on the younger generation,” he said. “With most households being two-income, a lot of kids don’t have mentors around.” Rich hopes to impact “one kid in life and help them accomplish their goals.” 

Rich has been working at AHS for four years after driving a truck for 15. 

Rich gets to the school at 5:30 a.m. and stays until at least 2:30 p.m. “I clean the multiple purpose room, 500 hallway, and split the weight room,” he said. Most of the daily custodial tasks consist of cleaning floors, washing windows, and cleaning restrooms.

There is always something to do even if there is free time”

— Rich Smith

“There is always something to do even if there is free time,” Rich said. “I will do paperwork and try to find other little projects to work on.” One of the projects he worked on was getting an American flag in every classroom. 

Sophomore Callee Pellett has known Rich since she was in preschool. Rich’s wife Missy was her babysitter years ago. Pellett describes Rich as “fun, nice, and hardworking.” Growing up around Rich, Pellett said, “I used to be scared of him and his son so whenever he and his son would come downstairs at my babysitter’s I would go and hide in a corner.”

Rich is an upbeat, positive person who is a peach to talk to and is hard-working.

— Trace Petersen

History teacher Trace Peterson said, “Rich is an upbeat, positive person who is a peach to talk to and is hard-working.”

If Rich isn’t in school cleaning you can find him hunting, working on projects around the house, or riding his Harley. The main things he works on are trimming the trees, mowing the yard, woodworking projects in the shop, and fixing any broken objects. 

Rich enjoys riding his 2007 Electra glide which he bought 9 years ago. “The thing I enjoy most about my Harley is just getting on and riding, not worrying about anything,” said Rich. He only goes on rides around the Atlantic. Rich said, “Sturgis is too many people for my liking.” 

Rich Smith cleans the bathrooms, the weight room, and has done many different projects in the school. He has worked at AHS as Custodian for four years. (Lexi Christensen)

He enjoys hunting deer, pheasant, and coyotes north of town. He uses bows and arrows and shotguns for deer hunting. “I enjoy hunting because I can be out in the woods and forget about everything about everyday life, wake up listening to the birds and watch the coons,” said Rich. “I have shot a couple of trophy deer.” 

He is married and has 5 kids and 16 grandkids. 

Some of the students at AHS, Rich has known them since they were “knee-high as grasshoppers, I love seeing them graduate and accomplish their goals.”