An exceptional man named Mike Huss rose through the ranks from being the janitor of an elementary school in California, United States to becoming the Principal of the school at the age of 55.
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Mike Huss served as the school janitor of Ione Elementary School, a school he attended as a child. He decided to become the school janitor because he did not intend to further his education at the time.
“I’d fallen in love, I wanted to get a job and help my wife go through college. 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.” Huss said of the job, which he held for over a decade.
After being encouraged to become a teacher his seventh-grade teacher, he enrolled for an education degree at the Sacramento State Education Department of California State University. “I remember Mrs Collier telling me, ‘You will be such a great teacher someday,’ and I laughed at her, not going to happen, but here I am,” he said.
“A lot of teachers here at Ione Elementary kept saying, ‘You’re wasting your time. Look at these kids. They are attracted to you … and they want to be around you and they learn from you. You need to go back and became a teacher,'” Huss recalled.
His decision to become a teacher also gained momentum after he resolved to be an inspiration to his 3-year-old son. “When my son was about 3, I said, ‘You know what? I want to show my son that you can keep growing in life,” Huss said.
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“I know he was young but between the encouragement from the teachers on campus and the motivation to do something to show my son [that] nothing’s impossible, I went back to school in the late ’90s to get my teaching credential based on those inspirations,” he added.
Huss became a working dad, juggling his full-time job with family and school for four years, so he could achieve what he set out to do. He finally became a teacher in his alma mater and taught students of various grades for 19 years.
“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. The very next day, Tuesday, I was in my first teachers’ meeting. Thursday of that same week, I had my first class,” Huss narrated his experience with GMA.
After over 19 years of teaching in the school, Mike Huss received the good news of his appointment as the school’s principal. He explained that he was initially shocked to be offered the lead role. “I really think that I can do this job … because I have the support of everyone,” he said.
“I have to try my best every day for them. And at the end of the year, I’ve told many people if the worst thing I say is, ‘I tried my best and fell,’ I’ll try my best again next year and hopefully be even better. And I try to keep that perspective,” Huss said.
“I am blessed. I truly am and I don’t do anything special. I just show up and work hard. I show up and try my best,” he added.