Bill Glass was a beloved Custodian at Walton High School from 2007 to 2018. The following article written by Anthony Foti in April 2021 celebrates the wonderful legacy Bill Glass has left at Walton.
Anyone who has been part of the Walton community over the past 15 years will have the same reaction when asked about their interactions with Bill Glass, and that reaction is a smile. It’s rare in life that we get to meet someone who enriches the lives of everyone they encounter, but Bill was that type of person. Whether you were a student or a member of the faculty, Bill treated you with kindness, positivity, warmth, and enthusiasm. The man who would reply to the statement “have a good day” with “you have a better one”, represented what makes our school great, and his impact on everyone that knew him will last a lifetime.
Bill came to Walton in 2007 after a career as an airline mechanic and a member of the United States Air Force. He quickly became one of the most popular people at Walton amongst the staff and students because of the way he approached every day. Bill looked at everyday as a gift. If you would ask him how he was doing he would reply without fail with “God gave me another day” and he was determined to make the most of it. The man never met a stranger, always reached out to make others feel welcome, and exemplified how we should treat people.
Bill was Walton’s #1 fan, and a fixture at every sporting event. He was there to cheer them on in victory and defeat, always encouraging the players to do their best and represent the values of our school. He cared so much that he would look through the newspaper every morning for articles about the kids, and when he found them he would make copies, laminate, and hand deliver them so they knew how special they were and that all their work was being recognized. He did this because that is what Bill Glass cared about, the kids. He believed in our students, saw their value and their promise, and made sure that he helped them however he could.
While Bill may no longer be with us physically, his legacy lives on through his family and friends, his coworkers, and most importantly the thousands of kids who had the privilege of knowing a man who lived his life the right way.
To provide you with more of a feeling of just how wonderful Bill Glass was, we have reprinted the following speech which was delivered by Bill Glass during the Evening of Inspiration in 2016.
In April, Ms. Ozzie asked me if I would do her a favor and my response to her was “how can I help you?” Her favor which I consider an honor, was to speak to the Class of 2016.
I asked her what your theme was and it’s a great one – SUCCESS COMES TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE BEAUTY OF THEIR DREAMS.
In my mind, I need help for a request such as this so what I do every day is pray about it.
The key word to me in your theme is BELIEVE – when you believe, ALL things are possible. To achieve this your moral compass must be founded in truth. You won’t live in worry or doubt or be double-minded. Your life will be that of endless hope not a hopeless end and you won’t search for who you are.
At conception, you became a gift to your parents. You are by design deemed worthy with reason – meaning and purpose. At that very instant you were given a gift which is unique to you and you alone.
It’s as different as are fingerprints, but it will never come full circle until you give it or share it with someone else.
Your future is already a memory to God and we all have the capacity to leave great memories. Don’t compare yourself – God doesn’t.
When you’re guided in truth your path will be straight and you will walk in comfort. What lives in you will show outwardly. Whatever you’re created to be won’t matter your vocation. You’ll live in peace knowing it’s the plan for your life. In truth, you’ll never forsake it for fame, money or power. There may be times when truth is delayed, but it will never be denied, it will prevail. If it’s not true, don’t say it; not honest, don’t do it. When you’re honest about today you will live in truth tomorrow and you won’t be bound.
Your past is just that – let it go. That was then, this is now. Be still and move forward to be a better person every day. In truth, your concern will never be how you look to others. You are what you think and you’ll know your decisions and actions bring consequence.
Your resolve should be to bring dignity and honor to your family and the name you represent. Censor what you let between your ears and place hope in the ears of others.
At lunch, you see trash being picked up and on top of the trash barrel is a box for materials to be recycled. On my box I have a smiley face with two words underneath it. They are “you count.” Small words but significant ones. The words and smiley face is my attempt at a sublimable thought, feeling if you see it every day you’ll believe it. It is the truth. If you think about it, trash goes in the barrel to be thrown away and recyclables in the box to be used again.
So should be your thoughts – trash ones throw away and worthy ones recycle over and over again. In this way of thinking your words will be of encouragement, knowing your self-worth is not greater or less than another. You become your choices.
A life of pride is always trying to impress – it’s me, myself and I, and that is the path to self-destruction. The more you give of self the fuller you become.
In my life, obedience to the commandments becomes a life of discipline. You’ll be grounded in faith and your principles will never change and you will be blessed. This doesn’t exempt anyone from adversity. You can’t learn anything when everything is going well. Adversity depths vary. You will never be given more than God knows you can handle, but it always builds strength, perseverance and bridges over the valleys of life. There will be things you never have answers to but you will survive by accepting it. It’s hard not to put a question mark where God puts a period. Especially when the day asks for more than you have to give.