First person: Clovis volunteer toils behind the scene

Andy Ford was named the Clovis Municipal Schools’ volunteer of the year for his dedication to Zia Elementary School’s recycling program. Ford, 60, took charge of the dirty job of cleaning trash out of the school’s can collection trailer nine years ago.

Backstage: The award was very nice. There are some people who do things behind the scenes that get things done and never want to step out on stage. I’m one of those people.

Time to grow up: I spent five years in the Navy after graduation from high school. I spent 39 months in Vietnam. The war was really brutal while we were over there. For an 18-year-old who had never left Clovis, New Mexico, it was an eye-opening experience. I think all young men should spend time in the military. It’ll make them grow up. I had to grow up. It was do or die back then.

Pride and joy: I have two children — a 33-year-old daughter from my previous marriage and a 15-year-old daughter who is a sophomore at Clovis High School. I’ve been married for 28 years. My wife, Trudi, is a fourth-grade teacher at Zia. My daughter, Abby, comes home for lunch every day. We get subs together every Friday.

Family time: I have absolutely no hobbies of my own. I do everything with my family. If I have to go eat by myself, I don’t eat. I’ll go find my wife or my daughter to tag along. We fish, ride ATVs, travel, everything, together. There is nothing more important than family. If families would come back together again, the world would be a better place.

Where the wind blows us: We travel a lot together, me and my family. Each year, we take my daughter to Las Vegas, Nev., for spring break. We don’t drink or gamble, but there is plenty to do in Las Vegas even if you don’t do those things. My daughter just loves the fast pace of the city and the sights. We’ve visited Yellowstone National Park, New Orleans, Mount Rushmore. We just want to see the world.

Teach by example: My wife says that if I would just do the things I’m supposed to do, I would be done already. But I have to stop and help everybody. I’ve been blessed by being financially set, but don’t want my daughter to grow up to be a snotty girl. I want her to grow up knowing to help others. I try to teach her right.

— Compiled by Liliana Castillo