Snapshot: Rick Thorne
Occupation: I am the head custodian at Middle Gate Elementary School. My duty is to give the kids a clean and safe learning environment by supporting the teachers and staff with whatever they need. I have worked in Newtown for over 17 years. The first 15 years, I worked at Sandy Hook Elementary, and the last two years I have been at Middle Gate Elementary. In my opinion, there is no better school district than Newtown. Everyone goes above and beyond for the students.
Family: My wife, Dee, and I have been married for 35 years. I have three daughters, Sabina, Candace, and Alana. Sabina is a teacher at Hawley Elementary School. Candace and Alana work at the employment company Indeed. I am very proud of my daughters. My family means the world to me.
Pets: Although I do not have any pets of my own, I have a grandpuppy named Nova. Nova is an adorable “shorkie” who we all love very much.
What do you like to do in your free time? I am an avid racquetball player and have been playing since I was 16 years old. Even a total hip replacement could not sideline me. I love going to country concerts. When I’m not playing racquetball or going to concerts, I like relaxing and spending time with my family.
What is your favorite book? My favorite book is Meteor! by Patricia Polacco. My very special friend Molly recommended this book because it was her favorite. When Patricia Polacco visited Sandy Hook for an author visit, I made sure to meet her. I was even able to touch the meteor rock!
What is your favorite travel destination? When I was younger, I was lucky enough to have a dad who worked for Pan American Airways. This enabled me to travel to many great destinations. My favorite was Hawaii, due to the fantastic weather and gorgeous beaches.
What is the best part about Newtown? The best part of Newtown for me is the kids. They are the reason I love my job so much. I love seeing their smiling faces every day and hearing them say, “Good Morning, Mr Rick” and “Have a nice day, Mr Rick.”
Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My wife, Dee. She always sees the positive in everything and helps me be the best person I can be.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would it be and why? My friend Tim, because we always have a great time. We love going to country concerts and competing in Tough Mudders. He is one of the nicest human beings I have ever met.
Who is your favorite musical artist? I am a huge country music fan. My favorite artists are Eric Church and Miranda Lambert, who I have seen in concert countless times.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? My uncle taught me to take pride in my job, whatever it may be. I passed that advice down to my daughters.
What is something you cannot live without? Sports. I love watching and competing in sports. My wife always says I can watch anything as long as it is a competitive sport event. I grew up being a Met, Jet, and Islander fan.
What is your proudest accomplishment? My three daughters. I have always said I am a rich man, and they are the reason why.