By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
PHILLIPSBURG -- She has been such a permanent fixture in the building for so long, it probably seems as though Lynne Lohrmeyer has been there from the time it was built.
She has -- well, almost.
The Phillipsburg High School building was completed in 1962, and Lohrmeyer started as a secretary two years later.
And she's been there since.
"When people hear I've been here 50 years, they ask when I'm going to retire," said Lohrmeyer, who has no intentions of retiring anytime soon.
Lohrmeyer admits she has plenty that keeps her busy away from school.
She never married -- "it just never worked out," she said -- but she has "lots of kids."
And, like any mother, she is quite protective of them.
"I tell people they can say anything they want about me," she said. "But they had better not say anything about my kids. They're good kids."
Lohrmeyer also spends a lot of time with her family near Logan, and she has a lot of hobbies.
"I spin, I weave, I embroider, crochet, knit -- all those fiber things," she said. "And do genealogy for the family."
However, she said, "those get you up; they don't get you out.
"To stay healthy, you not only have to get up, you have to get out."
Lohrmeyer, who turned 72 in February, said people started asking her the "retirement" question a few years ago when they saw her at a local restaurant at lunchtime.
"Then they assumed I'm no longer working," Lohrmeyer said.
She said she came up with the idea to eat out and away from the school lunchroom because, "I gained too much weight by eating at the school," and "I never saw anybody but kids and teachers and parents. I never saw anybody else."
Lohrmeyer said she calls it her "sanity break," and "I come back refreshed."
"People don't realize how tied to your desk you really are at a school," she said.
But those at PHS probably wouldn't know how to act if Lohrmeyer weren't there. She is rarely ill, and she still came to work twice when she was injured -- once with a broken arm and another time when she was on crutches nursing a case of bursitis in her hip.
Rob Robison, a 1981 graduate of Phillipsburg, returned to his alma mater as activities director and business teacher nine years ago.
And guess who was one of the first people he ran into?
There was "Miss Lohrmeyer," still patrolling the hallways and keeping everyone -- from students to the principal -- on their toes.
"It was neat to see some familiar faces," said Robison, who wasn't worried anymore about Lohrmeyer telling him "not to run in the halls."
"It's kind of the central station," Robison said of the secretary's office. "Like most schools, ask the secretary or the janitor if you want to know what's going on. ... They run the school."