A Bulldog leaves as a Patriot


Photo by Jolie Graham

Security Team Leader Chris Pucciarelli looks over paperwork and observes the school’s cameras.

Chris Pucciarelli may have been a Churchill Bulldog, but on the inside, he is a Wootton Patriot.

Pucciarelli has been a security guard at the school for 23 years, and will be leaving at the end of this school year. “I wanted to leave Wootton with good memories of Wootton and not have negative feelings towards the community as I have experienced this year. I wanted to leave on a good note where I have happy memories,” Pucciarelli said.

Pucciarelli is the Security Team Leader at the school. Primarily he is tasked with providing a safe and welcoming environment for staff and students. He is constantly checking the hallways, making sure students are OK mentally as well as physically, maintaining records of contacts and activities, and doing additional duties as needed. “Chris has always been an amazing faculty member at our school making students laugh all the time and is always making sure everyone is OK. I enjoy talking to him in the hallways,” senior Jeneba Lansana said.

Before becoming a security guard, Pucciarelli went to Churchill just down the road and graduated in 1982. Pucciarelli previously worked as Construction Liason at Baltimore Washington International Airport; he also built homes for MaGruder Companies. However, he wanted to become a security guard to become more involved in the next generation of the community.

Growing up near the school, Pucciarelli said he became a security guard due to wanting to work with kids and wanting to give back to the community. He said his experience at the school has been bittersweet and he loves the community.

Athletic director Al Lightsey describes Pucciarelli as someone who is easy to talk to and a reliable colleague. “My favorite part about Chris is just having him come in, sit down, and just talk about what’s going on in the building at home, in the community, and in life. It has nothing to do with work, I just like spending time with him, and talking with him. We have an ability to make fun of one another and laugh about it, and laugh off anything that is stressful going on at work,” Lightsey said.

Enjoy the day. Live your life and have fun. Life is short.

— Chris Puchiarelli

One of Pucciarelli’s favorite memories every year is the senior picnic. He enjoys seeing where the seniors are going to go to school or what they will be doing in the future, and reminisces on how much they have changed over four years. “There have been so many good memories here at Wootton. President Bush came to the school in 2002 and it was really fun. I got one on one time with the President,” Pucciarelli said.

At the moment, Pucciarelli has no plans for his future. He is looking forward to his beach trip with his grandkids in the summer, and being able to spend more time with his family. He is also looking into potentially building a house for his wife and him in West Virginia. “I’m going to go one day at a time,” Pucciarelli said.

Pucciarelli has been a vital part of the school for 23 years, and wants to share his advice to students: “Enjoy the day. Live your life and have fun. Life is short.”