Olsen kicks off his retirement after 31 years; takes a dip for GCMS students

David Olsen plunges into Mill Creek in front of Grand County Middle School students as a “reward” for the students’ holiday fundraising efforts on behalf of foster families. Photo by Anthony Militano

David Olsen, a longtime City of Moab and Grand County School District employee, jumped into chilly Mill Creek on the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 18, on a sunny but windy day.

The stunt was symbolic on many levels. Olsen, 59, kicked off his retirement after 30 years, but he also helped motivate Grand County Middle School students to raise moaney for children in foster care in Moab.

According to Olsen, Grand County Middle School students raised $923 during the holiday season. The money went towards holiday gifts and foster families also received funds to offset fees from activities foster children participate in.

On Jan. 17, fundraising efforts continued at Grand County Middle School. According to Olsen, the students, faculty and staff of Grand County Middle School are fully involved in raising funds for foster care. “The students go out in the community and get a pledge … and a teacher takes a pie in the face,” Olsen stated with a grin.

When asked if he had any regrets about jumping into Mill Creek, Olsen smiled and said: “nah, it really wasn’t that bad and did you see, the kids loved my swimming get-up.”

Olsen in an email to The Times-Independent said the plunge was his “last hurrah” after spending more than 25 years as a key member of the city’s workforce and more than 4 years with the district.

He won’t be completely absent from school now that he’s retired. “I will keep volunteering with the BEACON Short Film afterschool program,” he said.

Olsen was not the only district employee to take one for the team. Mr. Shumway and Mr. Lindsay arm-wrestled, Ms. Murdock, Mrs. Geiser, Mrs. Schultz and Genna, Cadence and London lip-synced; Mr. Sokolowski took a pie in the face, Ms. Becky showed up in her clown costume, and Ms. Martin and Chloe had rainbow hair.

Photo by Anthony Militano

See related story: Snow and ice in the Colorado River.