By Tillie Davies, Elise Bilodeau, Kristy Kocot, and Celeste Amron
“When I first started here, I was asked in my interview if I felt confident working at T.C. Williams. My response was that ‘I like challenging myself,’” said Mario Yach, one of the building engineers at TC. Yach has been working at the high school for almost nine years, starting in 2009.
Yach initially worked as a part-time custodian for 5 years at a different facility. Before coming to TC, he had 20 years of experience as a skilled mechanical engineer. “When I came here, I showed them that I had licenses for boilers and CFC (Air Conditioning), then they hired me at this school.”
Yach is a busy man. Although teachers and staff run the school, Yach is one of the main reasons the school functions every day. “It’s amazing what we do here,” Yach said.
Without his help, the air conditioning, heating and lights would not run, the bathrooms would not function, the fire alarms would not ring, and other facility systems would not work. Yach said, “When the power goes off everything stops working; we have to reset everything.”
Yach comes to work every day with the intentions of making this school a safe and enjoyable place for students to learn. Aside from controlling mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, he also runs a high-tech WebCTRL (control) system that can be viewed from any location. This control system gives him access to set schedules, adjust parameters, and graphically trend the building conditions. “I’m running this [school] from the bottom all the way to the top,” Yach said.
He schedules his day based on the highest priorities. Yach said, “I schedule my [daily] jobs based on the requests coming. I classify my job based on Priority One, Priority Two, Priority Three because a lot of things need attention right away. Most of the time it’s lighting or plumbing.”
“We work with contractors who help us do our jobs,” said Yach. There is also another building engineer, Ioan Marian, with whom Yach works works. Marian is the evening engineer and works from 11 a.m to 8 p.m. He is new to the TC staff this year. “I love everybody who I work with and I’m pleased to have this job,” said Yach.
Yach’s advice to students: “You have to love what you do because then it’s just entertainment.”