By Julian MITCHELL
Tragedy found its way to Valley View Elementary School this summer when longtime and beloved custodian Carlos Hernandez lost his life.
Just a few weeks ago, Hernandez was on vacation in Lake Havasu with his family when a boating accident happened that took the life of the 55-year-old man.
“He was considered family among the Valley View staff, his loss will be felt by many,” said Glendale Unified School District Assistant Superintendent of Classified Personnel Dr. Cynthia Foley.
Hernandez had been a GUSD employee since 1997 and with Valley View since 2006. He was scheduled to retire in December. Due to his passing, a GoFundMe.com fundraiser has been started to help the Hernandez family with funeral and other unexpected costs.
Hernandez was a fixture at Valley View, and principal Dr. Brook Reynolds saw him as a “partner,” according to Foley.
“Carlos was so much more than our head custodian, he was a friend and family and is missed every day. He truly loved Valley View Elementary, the staff, parents and students,” said Principal Reynolds. “His loss is beyond words and measure and has been felt by many. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time. Parents and the Valley View community have been a source of support to the staff and students at Valley View during this immense loss. Our school eagle statue is in disrepair and scheduled to be demolished later this year. A new statue and plaque are planned to be installed in its place by the flagpole in memory of Carlos. When completed, there will be a ribbon cutting in his memory. Carlos was someone who cared for so many people, who made everyone feel like they were special and a friend; because of this he will never be forgotten.”
Valley View, as well as GUSD, was caught off-guard by the untimely death. Reynolds immediately informed GUSD staff, who quickly dispatched grief counselors to Valley View. One additional substitute teacher was held on staff for the last week, in case any teacher needed to step out to grieve.
Hernandez was a CV community member, having children go through the GUSD system as well as participate in local sports.