The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

Valley Ventana’s weekly Connections game: Week of April 22. Photo via Canva
Connections: Week of April 22
Valley Ventana, Staff • April 23, 2024
Wrestling coach Tim Clarkson was named the 5A Region IV Coach of the Year by his peers. Music by MorningLightMusic on YT
Wrestling coach named tops for Region IV 5A
April 22, 2024
Junior Sayers Allen poses for a photo at the golf region competition on April 17. Photo via SVHS Golf.
Swinging it into high gear
Grayson Cook, Staff Writer • April 19, 2024
In Comal school district, 22.0% of students are eligible to participate in the federal free and reduced price meal program, making the federal nutrition program a necessity. Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash.
Texas should adopt federal nutrition program
Bethany Mann, Editor-in-Chief • April 18, 2024
Olivia Fuentes will play beach volleyball at Tarleton University in the fall after signing on April 17.
Photo by Daniel Grant
Toe the sign
Alex Whelchel, Managing Editor • April 18, 2024

Acts of courage

Custodian Willie Grubb speaks on his experience as firefighter
Solily San Miguel
After cleaning senior dining during fifth period Willie Grubb poses for a picture.

When custodian Willie Grubb saw a house burning down as a junior firefighter, he didn’t hesitate to suit up and run in, saving a 2-year-old girl.

“I wasn’t scared,” Grubb said. “I had heart. I went into the fire and I pulled out a kid. That’s when the chief came to my house and gave me a plaque and said, ‘You are now an honorary firefighter.’” 

In January, he did not hesitate to save two students from a trapped elevator.

“His experience (and) background working with the fire department, he knew how to pry open an elevator door,” assistant principal Tony Trevino said. “Thanks to Mr. Willie’s quick action and thinking, the two boys that were trapped were able to escape.”

For Grubb, the story was simple. 

“They weren’t that far [down], nothing major,” Grubb said. “I called the fire department, once they got here all we had to do was hook this key, and it opened the door. ” 

Ever since he was a kid, Grubb has loved firefighting. 

 “When I was 13 years old, I was a junior firefighter, and I’ve been in love with it ever since,” Grubb said.

The Junior Firefighter Program allowed young teens to learn about fire, rescue and medical service response in a safe, controlled, educational and fun way. 

Once Grubb turned 18, he took the firefighter test. 

“The guy that taught me about the fire department when I was a young kid, he was a high ranking firefighter, so when I told him how I did (on the test),” he said. “Next thing I know, they called me into the cabinet.”

He served the New York Fire Department for 27 years. 

“I look at a lot of things I did in that job,” Grubb said.  “I think back on all of the people I saved (and) a lot of people I’ve lost. It kind of balances out.” 

He retired in 2002 and began working for Comal ISD in 2003. 

 Students enjoy his company and constantly talk to Grubb throughout the day.

“He brings a good environment in the morning everyday,” senior Jacob Badillo said. “ I give him handshakes everyday at lunch.”

Administrators notice the positive communication between Grubb and the students. 

“Teenagers thrive off of positive energy,” Trevino said. “He brings a unique background coming out of state. That, combined with his life experiences, makes him a very well-rounded person.” 

Staff and students who know him appreciate Grubb’s skill and kindness.

“With his knowledge I think he’s a great addition to the school,” Badillo said. “Especially for emergencies where kids could need firefighting assistance, they wouldn’t have to wait for hours at a time with Willie’s help.” 

Grubb has motivation and determination to help others who may need him. 

“I’ll be here for as long as I can get up (and) move around,” Grubb said. “I try to keep an uplifted feeling: smile, talk to people, uplift people’s days. Because you never know, you could’ve just saved a life.”

More to Discover