Students honor memory of security greeter Chuck Amerine


Sonia Yost

Security greeter Chuck Amerine was interviewed last year as part of the Echo in the Halls series. He was asked what fictional character he would choose to be. “If I could be any character I wanted to be, I would be Robin Hood because he was always outside and even if he stole, he stole from the rich and gave to the poor and made everyone happy as he could,” greeter Chuck Amerine said.

Dionte Davis, Mountain Echo reporter 2019

The following article was submitted by former Mountain Echo reporter Dionte Davis who is a 2019 graduate.  Davis interviewed security greeter Chuck Amerine during his time as a reporter but the story was never published.  Davis submitted the story as a tribute to Amerine.

High school faculty, staff and students mourned the loss of security greeter Chuck Amerine shortly after the school year ended.  Plans are underway to sell bracelets to honor his life.

Amerine was a gentle, elegant, loving and caring man. The “Jolly Rancher Man,” if you will. A man who loved steak and who loved the color red.

Amerine was born right here in Altoona, PA. He had years of experience under his belt and had a few pieces of advice for students when former Mountain Echo reporter Dionte Davis sat down to interview him. 

“I give the same advice to my own children, when kids stop here and ask, I say go to church pray, and tell your mother and father you love them every day,” Amerine said.

Before Amerine was a security greeter he worked at Butterick, a company that made clothing patterns, for forty years. He became a greeter through his son. 

“My son worked here as a policeman and he suggested,  ‘why don’t you come to high school; it’s a great place to work,” Amerine said.

What touched Amerine the most was each person who attended the high school. Whether it was a teacher, cafeteria worker, janitor, student or even another greeter when they smiled it made him happy because he loved each and every one of them.

“The friends that I’ve made here and the kids that I’ve met here are so much better than people know. They deserve a lot more credit than they get, a lot more,”  Amerine said.

Amerine’s favorite part of the day was when those doors opened and a child walked through and looked him in the eye and said hello.

“The kid that comes up to me in the morning and says ‘hi,’ he doesn’t leave until I say it back, and that for me is amazing,” Amerine said as he began to cry. 

After all was said and done Amerine had but one thing left to say.

“ I love it here,” Chuck cried.