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Auburn School District Print Shop Lead Rick Kain retiring after long career in public education


When school starts in September, Rick Kain will not be printing welcome back to school letters, packets of vocabulary words or math problem sheets – after 48 years of supporting students and staff, he is retiring Aug. 31, 2023.

Kain’s career in education began in the Bethel School District in 1975 where he worked for six years in a variety of roles, including printing. He was hired as the print shop operator in the Auburn School District in 1981 and was thrilled to return to the community he grew up in. Kain is an Algona native and he attended Algona Elementary (now Alpac), Olympic Junior High and graduated from Auburn High in 1969.


After graduating, he served two years in the Air Force during the Vietnam Era and worked a series of odd jobs after his military service and before landing in Bethel.

Kain takes great pride in the print shop. He has been the print shop guy in Auburn for 42 years,

“I approached the job like it was my own business,” Kain said. “I wanted to be there for the teachers and entire staff and contribute to the school district.”

Throughout his career, he has done work for every department. He values the spirit of teamwork throughout the district, from every custodian to the superintendent. He served on the district committee that selects the staff member of the month for more than 20 years and enjoyed being part of the process to recognize excellent staff.


Randy Thomas, executive director of maintenance and operations, said, “Rick is to be commended for more than 47 years of dedicated and loyal service as a print shop operator. He has adapted to many changes in equipment and technology since starting this work in the 70’s, but he’s always committed himself to producing a quality project.”

Kain and his wife Barbara will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next year. They have four children and four grandchildren. In 1978 they moved from Puyallup to a house Kain helped build in Bonney Lake, where they still live.

Retirement will be a new experience and he hasn’t decided what he will do, though a part-time job is not out of the question.


The ASD will be closing the print shop when Kain retires. The district will outsource its printing needs in the future.

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