Sammy Hernandez moved to Celina, Texas with his wife Lydia in 1974. The two, who grew up in Hondo, Texas were childhood friends, high school sweethearts and each other’s first loves. They made their home and raised their children here in Celina and Sammy is a fixture in this tight-knit community no matter who you ask.
On any given weekday over the past 33.3 years you would have found him around town and in the schools keeping things in order…whether that meant he was mowing the grass, fixing broken items or making sure students got to their destinations by driving the bus. No matter what the task, teachers, faculty and administrators knew who to call for help in any situation.
Although Sammy’s title was never established, it was very clear at his retirement party on Wednesday, May 23rd, that he was a “Jack of All Trades” and irreplaceable to Celina ISD. Sammy, who had only had three jobs in his entire lifetime, smiles with pride when he talks about his time with the school, the relationships he established and the friends he’s made. “It’s easy to see the impact he’s had in the lives of people in our community,” Choc Christopher, says. “Sammy is one of the finest men you could ever meet, a hard worker with a heart for service and sweet spirit.”
Tom Moore spoke of what a fan Sammy is of his beloved Celina Bobcats. “Anywhere the Bobcats were, you could find Sammy talking shop and football. Everyone knows him as a fixture and lifeline in the community, a real die-hard Bobcat fan.” Men like Sammy Hernandez don’t just retire, they always have a special place in the hearts of the people that know them and depend on them. When you dedicate that many years of your life to a career, you can’t help but be tender-hearted about the thought of change. Through sentimental tears, Sammy thanked his friends, family and administration for their support through the years and giving him the opportunity to work hard for a school district that he loves.
On September 27th, Sammy and his wife will have been married for 48 years. They have three children – a daughter Rosie and two sons Abel and Samuel Junior. They have eleven grandchildren and four great grandbabies. These two sweethearts have made a wonderful life for themselves and have so much to be proud of. They also have so much to look forward to.
When asked what will fill their time now as retirees, the two spoke with excitement about their summer travels. Sammy not only retired from his role at Celina ISD this year. 2018 also marks 33.3 years in the U.S. Military as he is also retiring from the Army National Guard. He was first stationed in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina and had promised his sweetheart he’d take her there someday. He will honor that promise this summer as the two will finally get to vacation there. They’ll also be heading to Boise, Idaho to visit family.
Thank you, Sammy Hernandez, not only for your service at Celina ISD, thank you also for your contribution to your community and the education of the students whose daily lives would not have been the same without you. Thank you for being a Bobcat, and for being such an integral part of what makes our community great. Thank you for your time, your care, your dedication and thank you mostly for your service to our country~ We salute you.
By Jodie Brownd