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Big Kid' at school spices
up playground experience

John Devis sits up on the tire climb
he built on the grade school playground.


One of the favorites on the playground is the huge tires to climb on, and of course when you're this small, hiding is another game that's fun. Pre-school students from Left to right: Back Row: Ryan Jorgenson, Keran Collins and Conor Marlett.Front Row: Miranda Dupree, Tiffany Wendel, Jack Miller, Ty Guse, Jessica Culver and Kelsey Linford.

John Devins with the slide and tunnel center he built.

December 16, 1999
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana

by Patricia Swan Smith
For the Pathfinder

"It takes a great big kid to know what little kids want," says Seeley Lake Elementary's Superintendent John Hebnes.

And, the "big kid" at the grade school is John Devins, who is also known as the maintenance man at the grade school. He's had that position for a year and a half. He also oversees the cleaning crew contract.

"John is very good at what he does," Hebnes said. "We really appreciate all he does, and so do the kids."

Devins put in sound boards and a PA System. He built the swing sets, put up the basketball hoops, made the tire swings and climb, teeter-totters and for a little more fun he built the tube and slide center.

"John was the first one to go down the slides," Hebnes said.

Besides making the playground a fun place to be, Devins also coaches junior high football and chaperones for junior high events. He's even been known to show the cheerleaders how to do flips.

"We're fortunate to have someone like John around," Hebnes said.

His wife Sheila teaches pre-school and has had a Headstart program for the past 11 years.

He and Sheila moved back to Seeley in 1980. They have two sons, 16 year-old Blaise and 14 year-old Riley.

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