After nearly a dozen years of working inside the Slater elementary building, Robert “Rob” Rotz will retire at the end of this school year.

For the past five years, Rotz has been the custodian at Ballard West, but before taking that job, he had been working with a senior citizens’ dining program that was served out of the elementary building. “So I quit and never left,” he said.

Rotz has enjoyed his years at Ballard West, saying most of his life was spent in construction and he lived all over the country during his career. The kids at Ballard West have been the thing he’s loved most about his job.

“Giving them high fives; playing rock, paper scissors (he said, making the motions), and I’ve been able to watch some of these kids from day one, and it’s cool to see how they change. In kindergarten, they come in needing you to help so much … and by second grade, they don’t need you at all,” he said.

He’s also loved the staff and the Ballard communities. Even though he lives in Ankeny, Rotz said he does most everything in the Huxley and Slater area. “I golf up here, get my hair cut up here, see Doctor Pete up here…” and more, he said.

Following retirement, he and his wife, Toni, have plans to move to Nashville, Tenn., where their only daughter, Courtney Robinson, lives with their two “grand beagles,” he said. They hope to travel, visit other family and do some golfing as they enjoy warmer temperatures.