A Snow Day In Thornton

Nov 16, 2018

Classes were canceled at hundreds of schools across the state today – but not everyone in the school system got the day off, as NHPR’s Sean Hurley reports from his hometown in Thornton.

Eric Tyrrell got the call at 5:15 this morning.  No school at Thornton Central. Not for the kids or teachers anyway. But as the Facilities Director at the school, this was a wakeup call.  Time to go to work.

No school for kids and teachers - but Eric Tyrrell had to go.
Credit Sean Hurley

After plowing and shoveling the school lot, Tyrell and another worker headed inside. “We put away some furniture that wasn’t being used,” Tyrell says, “fixed a sink. You know just little stuff - but stuff that while classes are going on you can’t do.”

Thornton’s Phil McCuin spent the morning plowing – but for 21 years, McCuin drove a bus for the Robertson Bus Company. He’s driven my son to school.

Phil McCuin, former bus driver, plowing out the old Robertson Bus Depot yard.
Credit Sean Hurley

I asked him what they’d do at the depot on snow days. “We’d plow the snow,” he says. “You have to keep the yard open here and whatever and I worked in the shop.

It’s a kind of an epidemic, McCuin says. All these snow days - these school cancellations. “The buses can go good in the snow,” he reports, “it’s just they drive too fast. That’s the problem. We never used to have a snow day. Never. No. It had to be really bad. Really bad. When I first went to work here, the first winter, I bet we didn’t have two snow days!”

And even when school was canceled back then – for Phil McCuin at the bus depot – just like Eric Tyrrell at Thornton Central today – there was work to be done.

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