GOOD NEWS: How a humble custodian can leave fond memories with those around her

Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 9:24 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2022 at 6:18 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Many students carry fond memories of special teachers, coaches, and counselors when they leave high school.

In one of our area high schools, however, students may look back and remember a special custodian.

It is pretty routine to see a custodian in the commons area of a school. But according to sources that Canyon High School, Martha Varela is no common custodian.

Martha is really the queen of Kenya in high school and is the only head custodian that Canyon High School in this building has ever had.

She had been taking care of not just the building, but the children and the Kenyan high school family ever since this building opened.

For Martha the custodial work is only part of the job. The rest is bringing light and love to the school.

“I wouldn’t trade this job for anything today. Because you don’t know if tomorrow is gonna be here,” said Martha.

“Martha is the most humble person you’ve ever met. She does stuff every day for everybody but herself. She does it with a smile on her face,” said Coach Todd Winfrey, Canyon High School.

Martha’s helpful and loving spirit is simply woven into the fabric of Kenyan High School.

“She’s who we count on on weekends and nights. If there’s something amiss in the building, or something that’s not safe, she’s gonna let me know and be the first to meet me here and take care of it,” said Jennifer Boren, Canyon High school principal.

“She just gets her joy for helping other people and adults, coaches or administration but the kids she just walked around with, that spirit, how can she help? How can she serve,” said Coach Winfrey.

Martha loves on the entire school and considers it more of a big family.

“The people here I don’t see them as teachers or anything like that, or coaches, to me, it’s more of a family environment thing,” said Martha.

“Martha is right there in our comments. That’s kind of our cafeteria area. And, as those kids finish eating breakfast are the ones that are coming in go into the first period class. Martha is in there,”said Coach Winfrey. “And sometimes she’s cleaning tables pushing in chairs, but she’s the sweet little lady. That’s ‘Oh, hey, good morning. How are you?’ I mean, it doesn’t matter who she’s talking to.”

The appreciation and respect for Martha even trickles down to the student level.

“Sometimes they forget to put their trash away or clean up their locker room area. And here at Canyon High, all I have to do is say to a group of students, you are creating extra work for Miss Martha and all of that is stopped,” said Jennifer. “They do anything to make sure that Miss Martha doesn’t have extra work and you know how positive people just have an aura and they just create good energy and that’s what she does from the minute she’s here till to the minute she leaves.”

That positive aura is not expected to fade from the school hallways anytime soon.

“I really enjoyed it and people asked me, ‘Well, when are you going to retire?’ I said, ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever retire,’” said Martha.

There’s no doubt that Martha leaves a shine on the floors here at Canyon High.

She believes leaving a glow in people’s hearts.

That’s some good news.