If you have been inside of Chartiers Valley High School in the last 25 years, it is likely that you have heard a baritone voice echoing through the halls. That voice belongs to Walt Folcik, the school’s custodian. Between keeping the school in operating condition and helping students who need to use the elevator, Walt spends his time putting smiles on the faces of students and teachers alike.
But even if you’ve heard his voice or had your day brightened by his holiday decorations, we here at the staff of the Charvaliant believe that there is more to be known about Walt Folcik.
I had the opportunity to visit Walt’s office and was struck by the organization and life that he had brought to a simple custodial closet. On his desk, sat a cup of raspberries picked from his own garden. And of course, he planned to share them.
“Gardening is how I spend some of my free time. But spending time with my grandchildren is where my heart is.”
Talking to the staff and student body, one gets the impression that Walt is the captain of a ship. Mr Copetas recalls his first encounter with Walt.
“I was a first year teacher and I was profoundly alone. Nobody would talk to me and I found that what helped get through those dark days was Walt and his pure generosity of spirit. He will always have a place in my heart.”
Before his grandchildren, Ryan and Nathan, Walt pioneered the conversion from slow pitch to fast pitch softball here at the high school and remains an avid fan of all sports.
Walt follows all of CV’s sports teams and gets sentimental just talking about his time here.
“I love Chartiers Valley,” he said as his eyes welled.
“I love so much about it that I get sentimental. I was unemployed when I was hired here and it has become my home. The people here are good to me. I love being involved.”
As for the grandiose construction plans, Walt showed his nostalgic side.
“I hate to see the old building go. Hopefully, I’ll be around for the new one.”
So do we, Walt. So do we.