Collegiate’s Happiest Man
If you were to ask some Collegiate students who their favorite man around campus is, many of them would say “Larry King,” and if you attended Collegiate in the Middle School, your answer would most definitely be “Larry King.” He probably cheered you up many times with his happiness, his friendliness, and a grand high five. He likely helped you when you needed something or if you were just having a bad day.
Mr. King has been working in the Collegiate Middle School for 21 years. He arrives every day with a welcoming smile on his face and ready to do his job. His duties are, he says, to “keep the [Middle School] building clean and the kids happy.” He does a spectacular job of this. He vacuums, cleans the boards, gathers loose materials, straightens the desks, and helps create a great learning environment. When asked if his duties and responsibilities change, he responded, “They always change. That is life.” Besides keeping the classrooms and hallways clean, he keeps the Middle and Upper School students happy. When the students see Mr. King, he warmly greets them and gives them plenty of high fives. Even if a student has moved on from the Middle School and made the transition to the Upper School, Mr. King always acknowledges him or her like an old friend. He always speaks to you, smiles, and asks how you are doing. He often says something like, “Hey, big Upper Schooler!” And if he sees a group of kids, he will say, “How’s it going, Cougars?”
When asked what his favorite part of his job is, he responded, “You guys, seeing you guys grow up. It makes the job more fun.” This is the type of man Larry King is. He is an engaged adult in Middle School who is really a great mentor to the students.
Mr. King was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but raised in North Carolina. Mr. King grew up always loving sports. His favorite sport was basketball. He said, “I played on the the high school team and was 2nd team All-American and played on the United States Army team (not West Point, but the U.S. Army).” He also is a passionate fan of football, and like Mr. Wedge and Mr. Palyo of the Upper School, a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has Steelers stickers on all of his belongings, and he has a pair of Steelers gloves he uses while performing his duties at school. He said the reason he is a Steelers fan is because “they are tough and never quit.” When asked what he enjoys doing outside of school besides sports, he answered, “Relax.” This is very understandable, knowing how busy a day at Collegiate can be for everybody: teachers, students, and staff.
An amazing quality that Collegiate has is strong relationships between faculty, students, and staff. It is very well known that Mr. King has a strong relationship with the students. His explanation for this quality was, “You want to make the students comfortable, and you have to talk to them.” As probably all students and teachers who know him would say, he does interact with the students in a welcoming way.
Knowing that the students like and respect Mr. King so much, does he feel like he is a mentor in any way to them? He said, “Yes I do. I am very proud of what I do.” Mr. King is not only a mentor to the students of Collegiate School, but he is to the teachers as well. When everyone sees his positive attitude, and how much pride he takes in his work, they want follow the example he is setting and strive for excellence in their responsibilities. It is people like Mr. King that make the Collegiate community so strong. When one looks at him we understand that everyone’s job is valuable, and everyone’s contribution makes the environment successful. When asked about the positive atmosphere at Collegiate, he said his favorite part about it is, “The people. It’s like a family.” It is obvious that the people such as Mr. King make it feel like a family. He went on to say, “To see you guys grow up is all worth it.” The students feel confident growing up knowing that they have the support of mentors such as Mr. King. What advice does Mr. King have for the students as they make their way through Middle School, Upper School, and life? He advised, “Do the best in life. Do what mom and dad tell you to do.” He added one final piece of advice, “Education first.”