Dude. Be Nice.

Windsor honored Gary Kramper as this year's recipient.

Gary Kramper was greeted warmly by the Windsor crowd.

Sophie Dubis, Staff Writer

Every year Windsor High School Student Council recognizes one faculty member that shows phenomenal character and leadership. To many Windsor students and staff, one person stood above the rest–Gary Kramper.

Kramper has worked at Windsor in various roles, such as a cafeteria worker and custodian, over the past six years.  

Dude. Be Nice. is a way to honor those who have helped Windsor and shown great character in their everyday actions. It leaves the person accepting the award a sense of pride and accomplishment, and makes those who partake in the giving of the award a feeling of joy.

“I feel Gary was a good candidate because, although he is behind the scenes, he always does everything in the utmost manner and  is very kind towards the students and his fellow workers,” junior Delana Mantel said.

At a recent school assembly, The Hoot set up an interview with Kramper moments before accepting his award. 

“We wanted to get him to the assembly and then we wanted to use the interview as a distraction before he was announced as the recipient of this year’s award,” teacher Jeff Stoffey said.

Kramper was pleasantly surprised by the recognition.

“I’m very thankful for Windsor High School and the kids here. It’s nice to know they thought of me when it came to the award,” Kramper said.

Kramper was born on March 23, 1943. He has two kids, Michael and Debbie, and one son-in-law, Tim Madden. Gary has three grandchildren, Kyle (20), Jacob (18), and Brooke (12). Some of his favorite pastimes are watching sports, fishing, watching Brooke play soccer and basketball, and boating. He enjoys visiting Table Rock Lake, Branson, Silver Dollar City, Top of the Rock, and Big Cedar Lodge. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus Lodge.

After he graduated from Bishop DuBourg in 1961, he went into the reserves for the US Army (active and inactive) from 1964-1970. Later on, he began working for a phone company and stayed with it until 1976. However, when his dad became severely ill, he quit the phone company and took over his dad’s business. From 1976-1996, he was a part of Kramper Auto Radiator and Air Conditioning. Then, he began to work a paper route for the Post-Dispatch from 1999-2013. Alongside that, he was a Girl Scout camp helper until he finally ended up at Windsor.

“That’s how I got into cafeteria work at Windsor High School, and then custodian. I’ve been in the cafeteria for six years and custodian for almost four,” Kramper said.

It’s safe to say Windsor High School would not be the same without Gary Kramper.

“We always talk about the ‘Windsor Way’. Gary really is the epitome of that,” teacher Jeff Stoffey said. “He is one of the nicest guys I have met. He’s always very polite and smiling. He reminds me of my grandpa, so there really is no better compliment than that.”