Man Becomes Principal at Elementary School Where He Once Worked as a Janitor: 'I Am Blessed'

·2 min read

A California elementary school has a new principal whose experience with the building extends far beyond his new role.

On Wednesday, Ione Elementary School Principal Mike Huss told Good Morning America that he attended the school as a child and originally started working there as a janitor "because I didn't want to go to school."

"I'd fallen in love, I wanted to get a job and help my wife go through college," Huss said of the job, which he held for over a decade. "So I just said 'oh, they've got a school's janitor job, I'll take it,' and it worked out. I didn't know I was going to stay there for all these years."

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After being encouraged by faculty to pursue teaching, Huss decided to go back to school to earn his degree when his son Matthew was 3.

"I wanted to show my young son, that if your dad can do this, if your dad can be the school janitor [while] coaching youth sports, maintain a good grade point average and become a school teacher, you can accomplish anything in this life," he told NBC affiliate KCRA-3.

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Once he completed his degree, Huss immediately got hired to teach at the school.

"I was literally the school janitor on a Monday. I worked a double shift. I worked from 6 a.m. till about 10 p.m. that night, getting the school ready," Huss told GMA about the transition from janitor to teacher. "The very next day, Tuesday, I was in my first teachers' meeting. Thursday of that same week, I had my first class."

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This year, after almost two decades of teaching, much to his surprise he was offered the opportunity "to lead this school."

"I really think that I can do this job … because I have the support of everyone," he told GMA. "I have to try my best every day for them."

Ione Elementary's office administrator Melanie Cortez told KCRA-3 that "it's neat when people can stay in their community and there's opportunities like this."

"The kids aren't used to seeing him in the office, so we have kids come in all day long asking, 'Is Mr. Huss busy?' " she said.

"I am blessed," Huss told GMA. "I truly am and I don't do anything special. I just show up and work hard. I show up and try my best."