Hidden heroes are heartbeat of Central Catholic

Esteban Serrano, Staff Writer

While the brotherhood of Central Catholic works, learns, eats and sleeps, there are others helping to keep the school in shape. Underneath the historic halls of the school, lies another hallway that is like a home to some of our employees. These employees work behind the scenes and quite often, long and hard hours for the benefit of the Central Catholic community. You may or may not see them throughout the day, because of their speed from place to place at any given time. This is the Operations Team of Central Catholic High School.

The operations staff consistently works to make Central Catholic a clean and welcoming environment for everyone. Paul Combest, Director of Operations for the school, has a long history of working with operations. “I have been here for a little over five years, working as director of operations. Before that, I was at Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth, in which I was there for seven years working as a facilities director, doing a lot of the same stuff I am doing here.” Mr. Combest also has a long tie with the Marianists in his many years of service. “I have worked at Central part time and I have also worked at St. Mary’s part time. I have a long history with the Marianists and I have a strong belief in the Marianist education and I believe that our work in the background such as keeping the buildings clean, fixed, and everything working, assists in Marianist Education. That is why I am here.”

While Combest is the director, there are also many other amazing people who work for this amazing team. Mario Gonzales, one of the head members of the operations staff, expresses his love for the school as he says he enjoys coming to work everyday. “I enjoy working here. I started in ’94 and I enjoy coming to work everyday.” Mr. Gonzales also expresses that whatever he has to do for the school, he will do it. “I’ll work long hours if I have to. I try to make this place a lot better for the kids and everybody else, and try to keep everybody safe.” Rounding out the team alongside Mario and Margie are staffers Martha Velazquez, Jesse Olivarez, Antonio Escobedo-Gallo, and Archie “Jay” Massiate.

Margie Rodriguez, or “Mama Margie” as most know her, has worked at Central for seventeen years, and says she sees the students as her “boys.” “I love my school and I love my boys. I am just like their second mama,” says Rodriguez. Considering she has three sons of her own, she says she would do anything for the school she loves, and her ‘other’ boys. She also describes the experience of getting to have seen many walk the stage over the years. “I see them from freshman all the way until they graduate, so I have seen them walk the stage so many times, so it is nice to see that.”

To cap it all off, Margie describes what the operations staff does, besides just clean up. “We do a lot of setups and events when they need us so we stay late and do that. I personally work a lot of hours, because I am very dedicated to my job.”

These are just examples of hard-working individuals that are dedicated to their jobs. Central Catholic works hard to make sure these individuals are appreciated. Many of them have received Marianist awards recently for so many years of service. Anyone with this type of job, who works countless hours behind the scenes and sacrifices so much to help maintain the places they love, should be more appreciated.