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Loyola community shares its gratitude for the members of the Maintenance and Security teams

Mr. Steve Velasquez has been a member of Loyola’s security staff for almost four years. Before working at Loyola, Mr.Velasquez worked at a nuclear power plant, where his job was to clean the nuclear cooling towers.  His greatest memory of Loyola is of  the moment when he was first hired.  He enjoys being around the people who work at and attend Loyola.  Mr. Velasquez is constantly thinking of his wife and three children. What he wants most for his children is for them to receive a good education and live a happy, memorable life. When he is not working at Loyola, Mr. Velasquez enjoys spending time with his family. During Thanksgiving break, Mr. Velasquez plans to have fun and give thanks with his wife and children. “There are a lot of things I’m thankful for, so many things can’t be put into one word,” he said.

By Griffin Cappelletti

Mr. Eddie Rivera, an 11-year veteran of the Loyola security staff, continues to assist the school-wide community on a daily basis through his interaction with students, parents, faculty and staff.  Before Loyola, Mr. Rivera worked security for the Los Angeles Unified School District.  “I really enjoy working with kids and parents, so working in LAUSD was great,”  Mr. Rivera said.  He lives with his wife of 32 years and has three adult children, two daughters and a son.  In addition to working at Loyola, Mr. Rivera has a part-time job in concessions at Dodger Stadium for six months out of the year.  Mr. Rivera said he enjoys his job at Loyola because of his involvement with the Cub community.   “My favorite part about working at Loyola is just being a part of the Loyola community and family.  I enjoy working with students and parents.” For Thanksgiving, Mr. Rivera plans to go to his eldest daughter’s house.  “It will be a little odd going to my daughter’s house because usually, the parents are providing Thanksgiving; but this time, it will be the kid. I am very thankful for a lot in my life, but the most important things are living every day, having family and working at Loyola,” Mr. Rivera said.

By Lucas Cappelletti

In his twelfth year as a member of the security staff, Mr. Ozzie Orozco continues to serve Loyola High School through his daily interactions with the Cub community.  Previously, Mr. Orozco worked as a security guard at Theodore Roosevelt High School located in Boyle Heights.  Mr. Orozco said he was attracted to Loyola because of the family spirit at the school.  “I am very fortunate to have this job. This job truly came to me by luck and as a blessing,” he said. Working for over a decade at Loyola, he has had many unique experiences, including helping a homeless man who seemed lost.  “Rather than him asking me directions to a place, he asked for inner spiritual guidance. He opened up to me and told me his whole life story, and I just listened. I gave him some advice and some money to try to help him,” Mr. Orozco said.  When he is not at Loyola, Mr. Orozco spends time with his seven year old son, 11 year old daughter and his wife of 18 years, who is also his high school sweetheart. “I am most thankful for my family, life, and Loyola community. I am incredibly blessed and thankful for all that I have, and I strive everyday to work to the best of my ability.”

By Chris Combs

Mr. Ruben Olmos,  a Civic Center Area Supervisor pursuing a master’s degree at California State University, Northridge, has been a member of the security department for just over a year. He is on track to receive his master’s degree in order to receive his teaching credentials. Mr. Olmos works at Loyola part time, specializing in security for the larger events on campus including home football games, graduation and banquets.  “When I’m not working, I like to spend time with my family, especially my son. My social life at this point is pretty much nonexistent just because of school, and if it’s not school then it’s family,” Mr. Olmos said.  For Thanksgiving, Mr. Olmos and his wife of eight years will be celebrating with their four year old son and relatives over a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Mr. Olmos said that his favorite part of Loyola is the way the students compose themselves. “They’re great kids. What strikes me the most is their commitment to community service,” said Mr. Olmos.

By Conor Gaffney

Mr. Ernesto Majano has worked as a Loyola High School security guard for approximately one year.  He learned of the job opening from fellow security guard Mr. Ozzie Orozco and said that his favorite part of the job is his daily interactions with staff and students.

In addition to his service at Loyola, Mr. Majano works in Downtown LA’s Fashion District as a public safety manager and supervises 20 officers as well as a jurisdiction of approximately 100 city blocks.  When he is not working, Mr. Majano enjoys reading, playing soccer and spending time with his family, especially with his niece and girlfriend, who works in Lennox as a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy. Mr. Majano said  that he is most thankful for his family and aspires to become an officer for the Los Angeles Police Department.

By Conor Gaffney

This year marks Mr. Danny Jimenez’s eighth year as a Loyola High School security guard.  Mr. Jimenez, who grew up in Los Angeles, has worked in the security industry for several years.  Prior to serving the Loyola community, Mr. Jimenez worked as a district officer for the Department of Public Safety’s downtown bike patrol, a specialized unit comprised of forty members who patrol an area of approximately 150 square blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. In addition to his work as a bike patrol officer, Mr. Jimenez also worked as a security supervisor at California Hospital Medical Center. Mr. Jimenez said that he was attracted to Loyola because of its strong sense of family, an idea which he strives to apply to his daily interactions with Cubs.   “I feel like I am a second father to [the students].  I’ve earned their friendship and respect,” Mr. Jimenez said.  Mr. Jimenez’s favorite part of working at Loyola is witnessing freshmen grow into  seniors.  Mr. Jimenez is also a hobbyist and owns a collection of approximately 30 1/18 scale model automobiles.  When he is not working, Mr. Jimenez enjoys performing maintenance on his car, playing Playstation and relaxing with his family. Mr. Jimenez is married and has a son, Joshua, who he hopes will attend Loyola one day.  For Thanksgiving, Mr. Jimenez plans to spend the day with both his wife and son, who, he said, are the two people in his life that he is most thankful for.

By Chris Combs

Mr. Elisar Hernandez, an experienced security professional and father, has been a member of the Loyola staff for two years. With 10 years of experience in the security field, Mr. Hernandez has worked a variety of security assignments, including a patrol position at LA Live. The majority of his experience has been in public safety and bike patrol. “Loyola, compared to LA Live, is substantially more mellow,” said Mr. Hernandez. “ I’m in charge of locking the whole school and making sure everything is secure, so if you guys wanna do your senior prank, you have to face me,” he said.   When Mr. Hernandez is not working on campus, he enjoys trips to Disneyland with his wife, who he has been married to for seven years, and with his son, who currently attends St. Thomas the Apostle School. Mr. Hernandez said that one of his goals is to have his son be a Loyola student. He also is the owner of a 1966 Ford Mustang and enjoys automobile restoration in his free time. With Thanksgiving approaching, Mr. Hernandez said that he is looking forward to the holiday season and spending time with friends and family over a morning Thanksgiving meal, a Hernandez family tradition.

By Chris Combs

Mr. Bert Chantasirivisal, a Los Angeles Unified School District program organizer from the San Fernando Valley, has been a member of the Loyola Security Department for almost two years. Mr. Chantasirivisal works the night shift at Loyola because of his day job in which he organizes after school sports programs and leagues to work with middle school students. “I’ve worked with kids forever– for the last 15 years. It’s my passion. I love working, being around kids, being able to make some sort of impact whether it’s through sports, coaching, or developing students. Just being apart of the school and community on nights like this [Nov. 20 home game] when there are games going on is an awesome feeling,” Mr. Chantasirivisal said. A typical night on the job for him begins at 9:30 p.m. when all exterior doors are checked and secured, all alarms are turned on and all gates are secured so that no one has access to the campus. In his free time, Mr. Chantasirivisal enjoys spending time with his family.  Additionally, Mr. Chantasirivisal is the stepfather of a student at California State University, Los Angeles. For Thanksgiving he will be spending time with his family and relatives from the Bay area. Mr. Chantasirivisal said, “Go Cubs! I just feel really blessed to be able to work here. Just being around the school and what the school stands for is great, so I just enjoy my time here. It’s just nice being here. Thank you.”

By James Marquez

Mr. Abel Galarza, head supervisor of Loyola’s Security Department, started working at Loyola in 2000 as a member of a security contracting agency which previously provided security services for Loyola.  Mr. Galarza said that his most memorable Loyola experience was when members of the first class he got to know returned to school to visit the Cub community.  “Even though they no longer attend the school, they come back and they still love their school and their fellow Cubs,” he said.  “I remember the exact day the kids came back, and that’s when I realized that this was the real deal.”   Mr. Galarza also said that with the HSPT program and Summer Session, he gets to meet more kids and interact with them for a longer period of time until they graduate.  “It’s the best thing when you see any alumni,” he said, “and they remember your name, and their name just comes out, and you remember them.”  When Mr. Galarza is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family.  “I have a wife and two boys,” he said, “And I always love to be with them.”  Mr. Galarza has been married for 10 years, and his two sons are ages 7 and 4.  This Thanksgiving, Mr. Galarza will spend time with both his own family and his wife’s family. “We have Thanksgiving lunch at my parents’ house, and then we have Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws,” he said.  Mr. Galarza said that he is most thankful for his family, friendships, and being alive everyday.

By Conor Gaffney

The 2015-2016 school year marks Mr. Julian Torres’s eighth year at Loyola High School.  Mr. Torres learned about Loyola while searching for work in the Pico-Union area.  Mr. Torres was initially assigned to maintain the sports fields, but over the years, he has assumed a variety of roles.  Currently, he focuses on grounds keeping, cleaning classrooms, and plumbing.   Mr. Torres said he enjoys having a daily routine and strives to work to his best ability.  Mr. Torres is the father of three daughters, and in his off time, he enjoys watching sports, especially boxing.  He said that he is most thankful for his good health and plans to spend his Thanksgiving holiday with his family.  

By James Marquez

Mr. Eduardo Sierra-Carrillo, 25-year veteran of the maintenance department, first started working at Loyola on Feb. 12, 1990. His first job was cleaning the classrooms and the bathrooms in Loyola Hall. Mr. Carrillo said his jobs have changed throughout his career. “I really love working here right now; I’m working on all the grounds around Loyola and some parts of Loyola Hall,” Mr. Carrillo said. Mr. Carrillo’s current assignment is maintaining Hernandez and Smith Field; specifically, he paints the lines and the numbers on both fields.  He maintained Smith field for the home football games and works to prepare Hernandez field for the upcoming baseball season. Mr. Carrillo said he plans to spend Thanksgiving this year with his family and friends in Bell Gardens. He said that most of the jobs he performs around campus are usually routine; in fact, he said the only job that he finds particularly challenging is trimming the palm trees in the Front Circle. Mr. Carrillo said that his favorite memory of Loyola remains his first day of work.  Additionally, he said, “It’s really great working at Loyola, I really love it here.”

By James Marquez

Mr. Jose Quinonez is a 12 year veteran on the maintenance staff. He began working at Loyola in 2003 after working at a hamburger stand.  “I worked at a hamburger stand for 30 years, and I got really tired of working there so I decided to apply here, and I got the job,” Mr. Quinonez said.  Mr. Quinonez said all of his jobs at Loyola are usually normal. Most of his work takes him to various places around campus. Additionally, almost all of the jobs he performs involve some form of maintenance work.  On weekends Mr. Quinonez enjoys his time off and spends time with his family and sometimes takes vacations. He has four sons: a 32-year old, 30-year old twins, and a 17-year old. He also has four grandchildren: a 4-year-old granddaughter, a 3-year-old grandson, 1-year-old granddaughter and a 3-month-old granddaughter.  This Thanksgiving, Mr. Quinonez plans to spend time with his family and prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Mr. Quinonez’s most memorable moment was when he first started working at Loyola. “When I used to work at the hamburger stand, I would never take days off or take a vacation,” he said, “but now, I get to enjoy weekends and holidays with my family.” Mr. Quinonez said that his favorite part about working at Loyola is his fellow co-workers.   “Everyone here gets along really well and that’s why I love working with them,” Mr. Quinonez said.  

By Cade Shore

In his 16th year as a Loyola maintenance worker, Mr. Carlos Quinonez continues to serve the Cub community through his work behind the scenes. Mr. Quinonez was encouraged to work at Loyola by a close friend in 1999 and has managed campus landscaping ever since.  His work at Loyola, however, is not his only career.  “I manage a restaurant, a small restaurant, specializing in Mexican food. That is what I enjoy doing on weekends,” Mr. Quinonez said.  And in his spare time, Mr. Quinonez said that he enjoys spending time with his family.  Mr. Quinonez has raised a family and has watched his kids grow up. He said, “My kids are not really kids anymore; my youngest one is 23 years old.” During the last sixteen years at Loyola,  Mr. Quinonez has performed many duties. He said he enjoys them all except one.  “The oddest job was getting on the roof. I hate that,” he said.  The best aspect of his job at Loyola, according to Mr. Quinonez, is that he is doing what he loves. He said, “My favorite part of working here at Loyola is exactly what I am doing–landscaping.”  With Thanksgiving nearing, Mr. Quinonez reflected on what he finds most gratifying about the holiday.  “I am most thankful for my loving family. I plan to celebrate and have a good dinner with them,” he said.

By Conor Gaffney

Mr. Cesar Perez has been a member of the Loyola community for the past 12 years working for the maintenance department. During his time at Loyola, Mr. Perez has worked on a variety of projects that range from painting classrooms in the summer to waxing Levy Gym’s floor during the basketball offseason.  Among the many reasons for loving his job, Mr. Perez said, “I am working here because I love this place.  I love this place, especially the Jesuits.  They are great people, and nice, nice guys.” Mr. Perez said that some of his most vivid Loyola memories are from the time that Bishop Gordon Bennett, S.J. was on campus. In addition to his service as a member of the maintenance team, Mr. Perez is also involved in the Loyola community as the father of junior Andy Perez.  Mr. Perez said that he does not find working at his son’s school too special because “when you love something, you don’t think what is special and what is not special [about it].”  When he is not working, Mr. Perez enjoys cooking, cleaning and hosting his friends for special gatherings.  He plans to spend the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday with his wife, sister and two children.  “Every year, we make a good dinner for my whole family.  I have a sister who lives in California, too.  [She] comes to my house to celebrate Thanksgiving,” he said.  In addition to being thankful for his family, Mr. Perez said that he continues to enjoy serving the Loyola community. “The job [itself]is not too important; what is important is that I like to work for the school.  It’s a great place, and I like it.”

By Andrew Perez

Mr. Jaime Peña has been a member of the Loyola community since 1978. During Mr. Peña’s childhood, his father worked for Loyola’s maintenance department while his mother worked in Clougherty Chapel. Mr. Peña used to shadow his mother at work and would ask her if he could work at Loyola one day.  Throughout his time at Loyola, Mr. Peña has worked a variety of jobs from gardening to picking up trash around campus to cleaning the Jesuit residence to working in maintenance.  Mr. Peña said he remembers when his former boss, Charlie Walsh asked him if he wanted to work maintenance. “My boss asked me, ‘You want to work maintenance?’ I said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t know anything about maintenance.’ He said, ‘Sure, I’ll teach you how to do things.’ I started working as a maintenance guy, and he taught me a lot.” As a maintenance worker, Mr. Peña’s responsibilities are constantly changing. “You always have to be prepared. I remember once during an auction in 1984, the mainline in Xavier Center got clogged. We had like 400-600 people in [Xavier]…. It took about two hours [to drain everything]…nobody [knew]what was going on.” When he is not working at Loyola, Mr. Peña enjoys learning more about electrical maintenance and working on side projects; however, he reserves Sundays for spending time with his family. Mr. Peña has four children; his second youngest child graduated from Loyola in 2007. “I watched my kid walking up the stairs in the front circle to get his diploma.  It was the best moment–ever. I still get emotional.” Mr. Peña plans to retire when his grandson, who is 6 years old, graduates from Loyola. This Thanksgiving, Mr. Peña plans to have a family dinner, for which his wife will make turkey and chicken with bread. He is thankful for his good health, his family and his job. “Working at Loyola is a great job—great people, great environment to work. They take care of [the maintenance staff]. They take care of my family. It is great to work at Loyola.”

By Randy Mora and Chris Combs

Mr. Hugo Peña, a native of Guatemala and father of two, has been a staff member for the Loyola Maintenance Department for 35 years.  Mr. Peña is not the first in his family to be connected to Loyola as his own father, who referred him for his current position,  was a member of the Loyola staff. He began his Cub career on March 12, 1980, and apart from his commitment to Loyola, Mr. Peña owns and operates his own small business. “I have another business where I do tax returns and book keeping,” said Mr. Peña. Mr. Peña and his wife, a native of Mexico, have two daughters, ages 35 and 20. “ I am most thankful for having a beautiful, caring family, good health and having the opportunity of working at Loyola,” said Mr. Peña.  Mr. Peña said that one of the biggest sacrifices he has made in his life is being away from his family, working long hours to provide for his children’s future and education. In his 35 years of experience at Loyola, Mr. Peña said that one of the oddest things he has ever seen during his career would have to be the day he came across a multitude of skunks on campus and was charged with the task of attending to them. “ I was on my way to lunch and I saw four smelly skunks,” Mr. Peña said.  Referring to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Mr. Peña said, “I don’t have any plans yet for Thanksgiving because my wife and family will be traveling to Mexico…. I am most thankful for having good health and a great family,” Mr. Peña said.

By Chris Combs

Mr. Wilfredo Gomez, a native of El Salvador, is a member of Loyola’s Maintenance Department. He first arrived to Loyola after hearing about the job opening from a friend. Living only 20 minutes away from campus, Mr. Gomez enjoys Loyola not only for its convenience but also for the positive interaction with staff members. “I like how Loyola treats its employees. Our boss is a very good man and is very polite and kind with us. The whole department has good communication,” said Mr. Gomez. The majority of Mr. Gomez’s family and children reside in El Salvador. “I live here only with my mom who has 87 years of age. I am living with my mom and trying to spend as much time with her as possible for the time that she has left,” said Mr. Gomez.  Mr. Gomez  usually performs campus maintenance and management in which he specializes in cleaning and painting. “I do the same things at Loyola that I have done outside of Loyola,” said Mr. Gomez.  In light of the upcoming Thanksgiving season, Mr. Gomez said, “ I am thankful that I still have my mom with me. I am thankful that my kids are all married and have a house to live in. I am just thankful to have my family and to have a job.” Mr. Gomez said that he knew Loyola was the right fit the first day of work. “Nobody knows what will happen to them in the future. One plans, and then God ends up making the final arrangements,” Mr. Gomez said.

By Nicholas Salinas

Mr. Hector Escalante joined Loyola’s maintenance department in January 2000. Mr. Escalante had just moved to California from El Salvador, and one of his friends told him about the job opening. He met his boss and filled out an application. He said he was intrigued to Loyola because of the benefits, good pay, and secure job.  Mr. Escalante was born in El Salvador, and he has one twenty-nine year-old daughter and a ten year-old granddaughter. When Mr. Escalante moved to the United States back in 2000, he was searching for a job and came upon Loyola High School. Since then, Mr. Escalante has enjoyed many aspects of Loyola including the maintenance retreats offered at Loyola Marymount University.  Mr. Escalante said, “All of the maintenance and security staff went together, and that had a strong impact on me.”  Mr. Escalante said that the most interesting part about working at Loyola is the lockdown and fire drills that are conducted occasionally. He said, “My favorite part about working at Loyola is that everyday there is something new and interesting. There is a new surprise every day, and I learn something new everyday….When I am not at work, I like to stay with my family and go to the park. I like to go out and walk around with them,” he said.  For Thanksgiving this year, Mr. Escalante is planning to spend time with his family and friends at his house. “ I am planning on making a family traditional meal called pannes con pollo. It is a traditional food of my culture,” Mr. Escalante said.  “I am most thankful for having my daughters with me. I am happy that they have obtained residency in the U.S. It is nice to have my family together. They have a visa, they flew here, and I am so happy that they are here with me.”

By Ben Donohoe and Alejandro Salinas

Mr. Pedro Hernandez started working for Loyola’s maintenance department last year. Previously, Mr. Hernandez worked at a hardware store. After hearing that Loyola had a job opening in the facilities department, Mr. Hernandez applied for the position.  He said one of the appealing factors of Loyola was the fact that “they [the Loyola Maintenance Department]give you a lot of opportunities. You can get a better life.” Married, Mr. Hernandez and his wife are expecting to have their first child later this year. Hernandez said that he hopes his son will someday apply to Loyola. “One of the reasons I want to stay here is that they give my son the opportunity to be here at Loyola,” he said. Mr. Hernandez enjoys the gardening he does at Loyola. He also enjoys socializing with the other workers during their breaks. Mr. Hernandez said that he appreciates the vacation time that Loyola offers and is excited for an upcoming trip to Hawaii. During the Thanksgiving break, Mr. Hernandez plans to go to Las Vegas. “I have family over there. Every year, I spend Thanksgiving over there,” he said.  Mr. Hernandez said he is most thankful “to be alive and to have a family.”

By Chris Combs

Luís Gomez has been a part of the Loyola Maintenance Department for six years. Prior to his time at Loyola, Mr. Gomez worked at Eco Labs and subsequently at Sears Appliances. “It was time for something better, and that’s how I moved on and ended up here at Loyola.” Mr. Gomez has two daughters, one in high school and the other in college, who keep him busy outside of Loyola. In addition to spending time with his family, Mr. Gomez said, “I love futbol. [My daughters] also play soccer. Futbol is my hobby. Other than that, I’m here at Loyola working. You guys keep us busy.” A typical day for Mr. Gomez begins at 6:30 a.m. “Every single one of us has a building assigned to us, so we go open those buildings and make sure everything’s fine, and then we come back to the shop. After that, we start working on work orders–from then on it’s all Loyola,” Mr. Gomez said.  Among the many things that Mr. Gomez likes about being at Loyola, he said, “Everybody is friendly. It’s like a family environment. That’s what makes it good to be here. From teachers to staff to students to my boss and supervisor, it’s something about the environment that makes Loyola a really cool place,” he said.  Mr. Gomez will be spending Thanksgiving Day having a potluck dinner with his family.  “I am most thankful for being alive. You know, life is like a gift. Sometimes we forget about it, but it’s very important that we are here. Loyola is a cool place to work. I love it. I like it. I enjoy it. I like coming in here, punching in. You know, there are some jobs that you hate, but this is one of those jobs that you come in and enjoy being here.”

By Ben Donohoe

Mr. Rodney Drouillard started working as Loyola’s Work Control Specialist in 2007. After hearing about the position opening from his friend, Mr. Cedric Ebiner, Latin and French teacher, Mr. Drouillard applied for the job and was hired shortly after.  As Work Control Specialist, Mr. Drouillard manages SchoolDude, the school’s maintenance scheduling system. He also works with Mr. Michael McDermott, Senior Director of Facilities Management, and various contractors hired by Loyola.  At Loyola, Mr. Drouillard most enjoys being with his fellow faculty and staff members. “The faculty and staff are great here, and [I] have a lot of good friends.”  Mr. Drouillard has a wife and four daughters. One of his daughters got married last summer, and another plans to get married this summer.  Mr. Drouillard plans to travel “all over Southern California” with his family over the Thanksgiving holiday. “We’ll go to my mother’s for Thanksgiving day. Then, my wife’s parents live down in Temecula—we’ll probably visit them on the Saturday or Sunday. And we [might]squeeze in her sister on one of those days, too.”

Mr. Drouillard says he is most thankful for his wife’s and his family’s health. “My wife, about five years ago, had a little cancer scare, and she’s gotten over that—she has been cancer-free for five years,” Mr. Drouillard said. “She’s been doing great.”

By Pablo Muñoz

Mr. Edgar de Leon started his career at Loyola in 1992, at the invitation of his now-co-worker Mr. Jaime Peña. Since arriving illegally in the United States from Guatemala in 1982, de Leon gained legal residency and currently as a bachelor lives north of campus off Normandie. “Back home in Guatemala, there was war and [numerous]gangs, and so people migrated north,” he said about his journey. When he started at Loyola, de Leon worked as a janitor before being reassigned as a gardener. Today, one of his primary tasks around campus is to collect recyclable items, which are then purchased by an outside organization. “Today, I am in charge of the recycling of cardboard, aluminum and plastic, which we take to one place on campus,” he said. “Twice a week, I go around campus and empty the blue recycling containers.”

In addition to ensuring the recycling initiative is carried out, de Leon is also responsible for the removal of graffiti around campus, most of which occurs along Venice Blvd, he said. He arrives at 6 a.m. weekday mornings and usually departs by 3 p.m. de Leon said he usually waits for the school bell to ring and for the students to enter class in the morning before he sets out to collect the trash around campus.

“They [the students]are well behaved, and respectful of others,” de Leon said.  “They are more educated, the way I see it.”

By James Marquez

Mr. Jose Chicas started working at Loyola in 2003. Before coming to Loyola, Mr. Chicas worked at a fish market. “All I would do at the fish market was carry around the fish, and it was difficult and very tiring,” he said. When he is not working, Mr. Chicas loves to spend time with his family. “I take my family wherever they need to go, and I take them shopping to buy what they need. I try to do everything I can to take care of everyone in my house,” he said.  Mr. Chicas is married and has two daughters.  His older daughter is 18 years old and is studying at a university.  His younger daughter is 13 years old and in middle school. “My main goal for them is that they prepare for life. That’s why I work so hard for their education, so they can have an easier life than mine.” Mr. Chicas’ favorite moment at Loyola was when his first boss showed him how to do all the jobs around campus. “When he taught me the jobs, I was very appreciative of him, and I put effort into my work.” Mr. Chicas’ favorite part about working at Loyola is that it is a secure job with good benefits. “This job provides me with everything I need to support my family. I’m never bored, thank God, and it is a good place to work.” Mr. Chicas said that he is thankful for everything that God has given to him and his family.

By Max Neblina

For 12 years Jose Almaraz has been a loyal member of the maintenance staff for Loyola High School.  Before working for Loyola, Mr. Almaraz migrated to the US from Jalisco, Mexico, and settled in Whittier, California, the city which he still calls home. Mr. Almaraz then found work in Carson and Pomona for 14 years.  Mr. Almaraz has two middle aged children, a son and a daughter. At Loyola, Almaraz works from 2:30pm to 10:30pm, and his main assignments are cleaning Loyola Hall and Mr. Lew’s classroom.  Mr. Almaraz said he loves working at Loyola and enjoys maintaining the campus’ beauty.  Outside of school, Almaraz said he lives a fairly quiet life. He said that he loves to rest and work on his yard. His favorite sport is soccer; he doesn’t have a favorite team, but he loves watching the sport whenever it is broadcasted on television, especially if it is the World Cup.  For Thanksgiving Almaraz is said he is just going to stay home with his family. Almaraz said he is most thankful for, “de todo lo que he logrado: mi trabajo aquí en Loyola, mi esposa, y mi familia,” which translates to “[I am most thankful] for everything I have worked for: my work at Loyola, my wife, and family.”   Mr. Almaraz said he looks forward to continuing his work at Loyola.

By Max Neblina

After his daughter connected him with a work agency, Mr. Ysabel Yniguez secured a job with the maintenance staff at Loyola High School.  He is a fairly new staff member, for he commenced his Loyola career in 2014, but he said he feels very welcomed and comfortable at Loyola. After migrating from Jalisco, Mexico, he officially settled in El Monte, California, in 1991.  He has 5 middle aged children and 5 grandchildren. Before joining the Loyola community, Mr. Yniguez worked for 20 years at a hospital in Bellflower, cleaning and waxing floors. He said that he would rather stay at Loyola than go back to the hospital if he had the chance.  At Loyola, Mr. Yniguez cleans Malloy Commons, picks up trash, and washes the school’s carpets. He really likes the his co-workers’ work ethic.  In his free time, Mr. Yniguez goes to the market and executes various jobs around his home.  For Thanksgiving, he always hosts his entire family at his house. He said he is excited for the holiday and plans to buy a turkey, gather his family and give thanks. Mr. Yniguez said he is most thankful to God for his family and how well everything has gone for them.  He said he is also thankful for everything that he has been able to work for.

By Andrew Bagnard

Ignacio Benavides has worked at Loyola for almost two years. Mr. Benavides came to Loyola after working at a recycling agency. He works the night shift, which begins at 2:30 p.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m. Mr. Benavides is married and has one daughter who is 12 years old. He said he wants to push his daughter toward “the right path,” When Mr. Benavides is away from Loyola, he tries to spend as much time with his family as possible. “Most of the time I am here at Loyola, so I try to go out to the mall or go see movies when I am at home with my family,” he said. Mr. Benavides added that he is most grateful for his family. “I am most thankful for my family. It is not anything materialistic, it’s just my family.” His most memorable experience at Loyola was last year’s carnival.  “My favorite experience was the carnival with the fireworks Loyola held for the 150th celebration. I worked the morning shift, and then the rest of the day was spent with my family at the event,” he said. Mr. Benavides said that he really likes when someone appreciates the work that he has done for Loyola. “My favorite part about Loyola is when someone notices how nice I leave the room. When someone body tells me, ‘That looks nice,’ it makes me feel really good.”

By Rob Dickson

Father of four, Mr. Arnel Hermosura, Maintenance Supervisor, is a decade long veteran of the Loyola Maintenance team.  Mr. Hermousa left his previous job at RR Donnelley to begin working at Loyola in Aug. of 2005.  “Everything is my favorite part about working at Loyola. Why I say that is because at my previous work it was a totally different environment. There is good and bad but in here it is much better because I keep telling my family, in here it is like being at high school again,” he said.  Mr. Hermousra supervises the facilities team. He works hard alongside the rest of the team as they work forty hour weeks, in addition to working special events.  He said, “We are usually not here during holidays, but sometimes even on holidays because of some events or things we can not do during the regular time.”  Although the Maintenance Department is often working long hours, Mr. Hermousra said he still finds his job enjoyable.  “You see all the activities and I keep telling my crew if you put yourselves into them you see what is going on. You get involved in their sports or watching their game and watching their things it makes you feel relaxed,” he said.  After working at Loyola for a while, Mr. Hermousra said his favorite part about working at Loyola is graduation.  Mr. Hermosura said, “Graduation is one of the top ten events. I get to see the kids perking up. Sometimes working here [Loyola] you find a friend, a student and you see the kids finish up high school. You watch them grow up.”  Celebrating the theme of Thanksgiving, Mr. Hermousra is most thankful for his job at Loyola.   “I am most thankful for having a job, having a job is one of the top things because nowadays it is very competitive,” he said.  Mr. Hermousra is going to spend Thanksgiving with his family.   “I plan to stay at home for Thanksgiving. . . usually I do not cook; I just go to my families, and I bring the food so we share,” he said.

By the Feature Staff

Mr. Michael McDermott, Senior Director, Facilities Management, has served Loyola High School for 17 years.  A Los Angeles native, Mr. McDermott has worked a variety of jobs as a technician, including three years as a naval electrician managing the onboard defense systems of naval cruisers.  Mr. McDermott arrived to Loyola in 1998 after an 11-year career at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), where he worked as a technician, earned a theatre arts major, supervised capital projects under $500,000, and met Fr. Wayne Negrette, S.J..  Since his arrival to Loyola, Mr. McDermott has directed a variety of ventures, including the construction of the Hannon-Ardolf complex, renovation of Burns Library, and the integration of a school-wide recycling program.  Mr. McDermott oversees both the maintenance and security departments, supervises special event operations like home football games and works to plan future construction projects.  Mr. McDermott said one of his favorite parts about his job at Loyola is the relationships he has been able to cultivate with various members of the faculty and staff.  Mr. McDermott is also the father of four daughters and said,  “I am thankful for the support of my family and being part of the community–both the Loyola community and the St. Anastasia Parish community.”  For Thanksgiving, Mr. McDermott said he has family flying into town and plans to host a family gathering at his house.


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