Voices of Legacy Chip Pletcher


Isabella Depetris, Staff Writer

Throughout his life, Chip Pletcher is known for many things being a son, grandson, father, husband, friend to all, teacher, and woodworker.

The college degree Mr. Pletcher had to receive in order to become a tech-ed teacher was a four years bachelor program in technology education.  He was first hired at the junior high level and worked for two years then was moved to the senior high school at Greater Latrobe.  He chose to move back down to middle school.  “I didn’t really like working at the senior high level as much as junior high level.  Because the junior high kids are open to more ideas unlike high schoolers who are a little more closed minded and set in their ways.” As well as the safety measures that a woodshop teacher has to take with their students in order to keep everyone safe.  “There is always the dangerous aspect of what I teach and I like working with the junior high students, so I could get them right away and set them in the right direction, and before they thought more than I knew.”  Ever since he moved from the senior high back down to the junior high, Mr. Pletcher hasn’t transferred positions.

Not only is Mr. Pletcher a teacher, but he went above and beyond for his students such as while working at the senior high he held workshop times for half the days.  This gave students more time to work on projects, “We would work a half a day because you can’t get much done in forty minutes, so the senior group would come from 8-2 and get pizza lunch.”  He said that he had many great times while hosting these workshops.  “Mr. Dominic would come in on Saturdays and the students would get a lot of work done in the 4 hours they were there.”

Mr. Pletcher has been a woodshop teacher for 33 years and plans to retire at the end of this year.  His first job was at Hempfield teaching half days for half the year then moved to teacher half a year all day at South Allegheny.  As well as substitute teaching for half a day then got hired.  He started at the Greater Latrobe Junior High School then moved after two years to the Senior high.  Then back to junior high school for the rest of his career.  However, Mr.    Pletcher didn’t know that he wanted to be a teacher until his father gave him a choice after high school, “Service or College?”  This led him to decide to go to college.  He chose woodshop since it fit a similar style to the job he liked, “I always wanted to be a machinist so tech-ed fit the same discipline.”

Mr. Pletcher originally wanted to be a machinist instead of a teacher due to his father being a machinist with a machine shop.  “My father owned a machine shop, I worked there from the time I worked summers there and all through college.  If you needed money you had to work.”

Family has always been a major part of Mr. Pletcher’s life from his dad’s impact on his life to his children.  He has four children, two girls and two boys.  His eldest child is his daughter Amanda, then his son Luke, then Lynn, and his youngest child is Jack.  Mr. Pletcher raised his kids to be kind, dedicated, compassionate, and hard working.  “My dad always told my kids and myself, “If your good people will know it you don’t have to tell them, by the work you do.””  Those are wise words in which Mr. Pletcher lives by as well as raising his children with that belief.

His eldest daughter Amanda Pletcher went to school at University Pitt of Johnstown and then got a Masters degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  She currently works at Baggaley Elementary School as an Elementary School English teacher and Reading Specialist.  Amanda is an alumni of Greater Latrobe School district and while she was a student she played softball until ninth grade.  Then she started playing lacrosse from ninth grade till she graduated.

Luke Pletcher went to school at Ohio State University and was part of the Wrestling Team.  He is now a coach at the University of Pittsburgh and just had their first National Champion since fifteen years ago.  Luke as well as the rest of his siblings are alumni of Greater Latrobe School District.  Luke started wrestling as a child and while wrestling at the high school level he won many awards.  “He won states 3 times, took 2nd one year.”

Lynn is his youngest daughter and she is currently finishing her Junior year at Pitt of Greensburg and is studying physiology.  “She doesn’t know what she wants to do yet. And I tell her that’s okay.”  While she is attending school she also has a job, “At Kitty Claws and Doggy Paws, in Greensburg, She loves animals.”

Mr. Pletcher’s youngest child is his son Jack Pletcher,  he is a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh.  “He is majoring in Secondary Education and History”.  While studying at Pitt Jack is also a part of the Wrestling Team.

Mr. Pletcher is thankful for his loving wife and his children’s mother Lisa Pletcher.  “We have been married for 30 some years, and she is the glue that holds everything together.”  Lisa works at the University of Pittsburgh.

Mr. Pletcher’s family cherishes time

together and makes a point to get together every year to go berry picking.  “I say okay it’s berry picking season, let’s get the calendar out and pick a day and my kids still do it up till this day even Amanda.”  Then the family makes fresh jelly and pies with Lisa and the family.  “I like to bake as well and we will make perogies together too.”

Mr. Pletcher is retiring this year and plans to

spend his time while retired with his family and creating woodworking projects.