The student news source of Iowa City West High

Vera Tanas

Rob Melsha stands with his arms crossed

Ron Melsha

Ron Melsha has worked as a custodian at West High for 17 years. He worked in construction before, but after falling off a three-story building, he decided to opt for a more stable and safer job.

While working on the roof of a house during the rain, he slipped and fell, damaging his knee. Luckily a deck below broke his fall, but he still ended up with a major injury.

“I twisted and tore my knee apart,” Melsha said.

One of Melsha’s memorable experiences was when the police came to the school due to a bank robbery in the area. The school was on lockdown because the suspects called in a bomb threat to West High to create a diversion. Melsha helped out the police by unlocking parts of the school for the bomb-sniffing dogs to investigate.

“I got to escort the police and police dog around the building that day to make sure things were safe,” he said.

Melsha also emphasized the incredible capabilities of the dogs.

“It was amazing to see [the dogs working]… After a while the dog got bored, the officer then hid a bullet for the dog to find and to get his energy back. It was very interesting to see the officer work the dog in different areas,” he said.

Though this was a highlight of his career, just helping students around the school is a key part of his job.

“The look on a student’s face when I helped them find something they lost [is my favorite part of the job],” Melsha said.

During retirement, Melsha intends to hunt, fish and spend more time outdoors. He plans to visit Minnesota and Colorado to fish and travel to Texas and Utah to hunt.

Click here to find out more about what Melsha does.

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