End of An Era: Legend Rickey Myles Retires After 40 Years

‘I want to remind all of my LFHS children to never stop pursuing excellence’
Mr. Myles about to enter for his clap-out. (Alana Tennet)
Mr. Myles about to enter for his clap-out. (Alana Tennet)

It’s not every day students walk into school to see a lively celebration unfolding, but that is exactly what happened Thursday morning when the students and staff came together to celebrate the retirement of Head Custodian Mr. Rickey Myles. 

When students entered the front commons, they were immediately greeted by members of Student Council handing out photo stickers of Myles’ face.

Mr. Myles with a poster celebrating his retirement and a sash reading “legend since 1984” (Caroline Gerber)

The halls were covered with banners, Scout-themed balloons, and posters and TV screens adorned with photographs of Myles.

Myles, who started here in 1984, proudly greeted staff members and students in front of the school, where he gladly posed with those who eagerly requested photographs with him.

“I’m very honored for my day even though I don’t like being the center of attention,” said Myles.

Myles is regarded as an LFHS institution and a school legend. He is a member of the 7 Wonders of LFHS, and his mural adorns the wall in the cafeteria. 

One of Myles’ signature traditions is his rousing megaphone speeches, likened to a one-man pep rally, which he delivered in the cafeteria on every football game day. 

His speeches serve to encourage students, especially student-athletes to never back down, to face challenges with strength and confidence, and to always seek to better themselves and the community.

“He always has great energy during his cafeteria speeches and showed amazing Scout pride and support for the football team,” said varsity football player Miles Specketer.

Over the loudspeaker during the morning announcement Thursday, Myles’ years of dedication and leadership were recognized, culminating in a declaration that from this day forward at LFHS, April 11 would be recognized as “Rickey Myles Day.”

Throughout the day, students proudly wore their Rickey Myles stickers and enjoyed Scout-themed baked goods as part of the celebration honoring Myles’ 40 years of exemplary service and his embodiment of Scout pride.

During lunch, Myles could be seen participating in lively discussions with students, while up above a banner hung with a retirement message and TV screens continuously looped images of Myles captured during his years at LFHS.

At 1:50 p.m. the student body and staff members held a clap-out for Myles in the Front Commons. The band played and marched ahead of him as Myles walked through the halls waving a Scout flag and chanting “SCO” followed by students chanting back “UTS, go Scouts go.” 

“He got us all really pumped up for our football games,” said varsity athlete Graham Garrigan. “Game days won’t be the same without him.”

Myles is no stranger to athletic pursuits. He was a decorated six-time NAIA All-American track star for Jackson State University and was inducted into the JSU Hall of Fame in 2013.

Myles during his collegiate track career at JSU. (JSU)

Throughout his many years at LFHS, Myles has positively touched the lives of thousands of students who have looked to him as a source of wisdom, encouragement and inspiration.

This is evidenced by the mural of Myles displayed in the cafeteria which was created by a past art class to honor his contributions, which will further serve as a reminder of Myles’ legacy for years to come.

Myles’ mural in the Cafeteria (Caroline Gerber)

Not only is Myles admired by students, but staff members have a deep sense of respect and appreciation for him as well. 

“Since my time at LFHS, Mr. Myles is known as the man … he is the guy who gets students excited in the cafeteria, isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and absolutely loves all things Lake Forest High School,” said Principal Dr. Erin Lenart. “This will not be the same place once he retires.” 

In regards to his plans for the future, Myles said he plans to reconnect with his wife and grandchildren, and possibly buy a motorhome and travel the US.

“Whatever I decide to do, it’s going to be the best I can,” Myles said.

He offered his final parting words to the students.

“I want to remind all of my LFHS children to never stop pursuing excellence.”

Although Mr. Rickey Myles will be greatly missed, he will never be forgotten. His legacy and words of encouragement and inspiration uttered during his megaphone speeches, will continue to echo throughout the cafeteria for years to come.




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