Inside the mind of Big Mike


Erika Reynoso, Staff Writer

Big Mike has been working at Argo for a little over a year now. Almost every student at Argo has seen him doing his daily rounds around the halls. 

“I absolutely love my job”, student supervisor Mike said. 

Students see him around but unless it’s either for a troublesome reason or they approach and talk to him on their own, they will never get to know him. I wanted to change this and know about his story a bit more, so here’s an inside scoop on the life of Mike. 


 The following conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity. 


What makes you happy? 

My family and my pets. The birth of my daughter was a memorable experience for me. I also care for my 3 dogs, 3 birds, 2 snakes and cat. It’s on my bucket list to go on a rattlesnake hunt in Sweetwater, Texas. I love snakes and have been around them my whole life.  

What have been other memorable experiences in your life? 

I’m originally from Pennsylvania. I saved a kid’s life when I was 16 years old. He was drowning and I knew CPR from a very young age. Another was being a part of the Marine Corps and receiving an honorable discharge, along with being Illinois state power lifting champion in 87’ and 88’. 

What did you do in the Marine Corps? 

I’m a Marine Corps Veteran and a combat veteran. I was in there from the young age of 18 to 21, with 2 years being overseas. I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and from there I would go to other places to carry out operations. 

Where else have you been in the world?  

I’ve gone to Denmark, Norway, Grenada, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore. I got sent to Beirut, Lebanon during the Beirut Lebanon crisis in 1983. I have no desire whatsoever to leave the United States anymore or to get a passport. I don’t need one. 

Did you ever think that you would end up working at Argo? 

I worked at a plant for 25 years and about 11 years ago it shut down. I’m considered retired, but I just can’t sit still. I’ve done security my whole life and I like being around here. I worked at another school, but this is where I always wanted to end up. I like the student environment and all the activites that go on. It’s a great place to work.  

Do you feel like working at Argo has influenced your life? 

I get a lot of exercise every day, walking 8-10 miles just roaming around. I know a lot of people here. I’ve met a lot of people here, a lot of good people. I have friends working here and a lot of the students know me, and they respect me. They know that if they do everything that they’re supposed to do, then I’ll never have an issue with them.  

Lastly, do you have anything to say to the students attending Argo? 

I’d like to have world peace, but I don’t see that happening, you know? Just everybody getting along. I mean everybody’s here for the same reason, right? To get an education. Get your education. Do what you got to do and move on. Just do what you’re supposed to do. Don’t cause trouble. You’ll never know me if you don’t cause trouble. This is unless you approach me in the hallways and say, “hey Big Mike, how you doin’” and I’m always willing to give you a hey back with a fist bump. Every kid that knows me will tell you that.