Head custodian Mr. Tolar continues to be a hero inside and outside of the building at FHC


Forest Hills Central has a lot of underrated heroes that work hard day and night to keep our building in the best shape possible for students. By far, the most important one of all is head custodian Mr. Tolar. 

Mr. Tolar hasn’t been at FHC as long as some of the other staff members, but he carries his own weight in making our building the place that it is today. 

“I have been here as of last spring break three years, so this coming spring break will be four. It was quite nerve-racking at the beginning. Central has always had a reputation for being a difficult place to work for because there are a lot of expectations here, so when I was asked to come here, I’ll be straight up honest here I was nervous about it,” Mr. Tolar admitted. “I wasn’t sure it was something I’d want, but I did some thinking on it, and Mr. Passinault and I have gone back a little way. I worked with him when he first came to the district and when he asked me I thought ‘ yeah, I know he’s a great guy to work for and seems like he would be able to help me if I need it.’ So then, I gave it a shot and here I am.”

Mr. Tolar spends quite a hefty chunk of time at the school, so he sees a lot on a day-to-day basis. When he was asked how it has been working here, he didn’t hesitate to open up. 

“There is never a dull moment lately with the COVID stuff and devious licks. Those kinds of things have been keeping us kind of busy. Nothing major thank goodness knock on wood, but our kids are pretty good. We have some mischievous ones, but we are definitely keeping us busy,” Mr. Tolar said. 

Being the backbone of the school, Mr. Tolar sees and does a lot both for the building and alongside students even with a packed schedule. No matter what the task though, he has found so many amazing ways to stay up to date and connected while helping the causes he stands for with a little help from some of FHC’s amazing students. 

“I’ve had a lot of great experiences. Kids offer to help out some of the projects and organizations that are going through it that have asked me for my help. There were a few times where they went down to Heartside Park and we would cook hotdogs for the hungry. Things like that have just been fun and phenomenal. There are a lot of great times. I have loved it. The good times outweigh the bad,” Mr. Tolar said proudly. 

Reflecting back on his old self, he also had quite a bit to say about what he would have told himself going into the job in the first place to ease his nerves. 

“The first thing I would have said is to not sweat the small stuff,” he exclaimed. “Don’t worry about the rumors, it is nowhere near as nerve-racking as I thought it would be. Realize that you can rely on staff and students for help. “

Of course, with any job, there will be an upside to it and the not-so-fun downside; however, Mr. Tolar has managed to see past all the crazy and find the parts that always brighten his day.

“My favorite part about the job I would have to say is the staff and students. They have been extremely helpful. They have been offering to do whatever they can. They say thanks in the hallway when I walk by,” he remarked. “When I first came here nobody knew me and not a whole lot of conversation, but the students are all ‘Hey Mr. Tolar, how is it going?’ The friendliness has been the highlight of working here. It has gotten better and better each year.” 

Speaking of staff, one of his long-time friends, Mr. Sultini, had only good remarks to share about this extraordinary human. 

“I have been lucky enough to know Mr. Tolar for a long time. I have been in the district for sixteen years, and I first met Mr. Tolar just a few years into that career as he took over head custodian duties at Forest Hills Northern where I was teaching at the time,” Mr. Sultini said. 

It is no secret that Mr. Tolar is an important individual in the building, but he is and does so much more than we realize for us, sometimes without even being asked. He truly has a heart of a Ranger and without him, FHC would never be the same.

“Since the first time I met him, he captivated me with how positive he is. Even on his worst day, he would never let you know by complaining about it or anything like that,” Mr. Sultini said with a smile.