Teacher Feature: Mr. Irving Charles

Helen Li, Staff Writer

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Mr. Irving Charles, security guard at Maggie Walker, poses in his office on the first floor.

Srishti Sanya
Mr. Irving Charles, security guard at Maggie Walker, poses in his office on the first floor.

HL: Since you are a Maggie Walker Alumni, and you have been with the school since its inception pretty much, what is something that you have seen change within the school over the years?
IC: Well, that’s a lot of things. I’ve seen changes within the students themselves, changes as far as the structure of the building and the development around the school so…

HL: Let’s talk about the students then, what types of changes have occurred with the students?
IC: Hmm…for one thing the enrollment has increased, the number of students, so that is one thing. Pretty much the students, as far as my opinion, are the same. They are still great students, innovative. They are self-motivated, you know, creative thinking.

HL: And in terms of the surroundings of Maggie Walker
IC: The surroundings in terms of the structure of the neighborhood, that’s getting better as well. As time moves one, with the renovation and reconstruction of the neighborhood here, with the revitalization, I think it is going to be good for the whole community.

HL: You were once a Richmond City firefighter. How has that experience influenced you?
IC: Once again, that influenced me like I said, I have a great knowledge of the city –being here most of my life and working here—so…it has been a great advantage as far as this position goes. My old contacts I still have, and I try to get some things done with them and other people who I know.

HL: You are responsible for the security matters at Maggie Walker, but outside of that, what do you like to do in your free time with your family, friends?
IC: Oh well, I have young daughter, and all of my time is devoted to her and my family.

HL: How old is your daughter?
IC: Daughter’s 10 years old…Just being with her and my wife is sometimes challenging.

HL: In what ways?
IC: Well…just trying to keep up with their demands. They like to shop and all.

HL: I heard a rumor that once Mr. Tharp leaves, then you are going to leave, is that true?
IC: Yeah, yeah. Game plan is for Mr. Tharp and myself to leave at the same time. It’s supposed to be 2016.

HL: So what are you going to do after that? Do you have any plans?
IC: Yeah. I’m going to do a lot of fishing. And you know, I have a lot of interests around the house to keep me busy. I don’t have any doubt that I won’t find anything to do.

HL: So what would your ideal retirement be?
IC: Right now I’m thinking about getting up in the morning, having a nice cup of coffee, taking my daughter to school, do some yardwork, go back and pick my daughter up from school, and I think that’s going to complete a day.

HL: Since you have been with the school for such a long time, what is problem that you still see among the students and school?
IC: One problem that I am concerned about is that there is a large amount of theft. I think that when you leave something, you should be able to come back and pick it up where it was. One of my concerns though is that there are still a lot of things missing, students picking up iPods, iPhones, etc. I think the only way that we can solve that problem is to make everybody responsible for their stuff. Keep up with it, you know. They’re spending good money on electronic equipment, I think they need to be more responsible as far as keeping up with them.


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