The Grandpa Guards - A Story of Love and Devotionby Bunny Westimier
When someone asks me why our school is special I tell them the story of Mr. Franz. When he worked at our school -Mr. Franz Stadler, known to Southtowns as "Mr. Franz" - was always the first person you would see as you arrived at school. He would greet you in front of the school with a smile and a "good morning" as he opened the door. He has two grandchildren who attend Southtowns Catholic. After working at the school for many, many years, Mr. Franz decided to retire. That was in 2011. He was greatly missed until one very sad day, December 15, 2012. This was the day after the tragic events took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School. That day Mr. Franz returned to take his post at the doors of the school, and this time he was joined by another man who also had grandchildren in the school, James Trembath.
When asked why he was back Mr. Franz simply said "I need to know our children are safe." Rain, sleet, snow, -10 degrees or in the sunshine the so called grandpa guards have been standing at the doors of the school welcoming every student and parent with a smile and a "good morning." After the last bus drops off the children they make sure the doors of the school are locked and everyone is safety inside before quietly going home. Mr. Franz is a shining example of all who work at Southtowns Catholic School. Like him our number one priority is the children.