School's New Principal Is Its Former Janitor

Mike Huss says he wanted to show his son that 'you can accomplish anything'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2022 2:29 PM CDT

The new principal of Ione Elementary School definitely knows his way around the building—Mike Huss attended the school about 40 miles outside Sacramento as a young boy before working there as a janitor for 14 years and a teacher for 19 years. Huss, 55, says he never used to think he was suited for a career in education, but teachers at Ione saw how well he interacted with the kids as a janitor and encouraged him to change careers. He says he went back to school in the '90s, around three years after his first child was born, because he wanted to show the boy you can "keep growing in life," ABC News reports.

"I wanted to show my young son, that if your dad can do this, if your dad can be the school janitor coaching youth sports, maintain a good grade point average, and become a school teacher, you can accomplish anything in this life," he tells KCRA. After years juggling work, school, and family, Ione hired him as a teacher days after he graduated. "I was literally the school janitor on a Monday. I worked a double shift. I worked from 6am till about 10pm that night, getting the school ready," Huss says. "The very next day, Tuesday, I was in my first teachers' meeting. Thursday of that same week, I had my first class."

Huss started as principal two weeks ago. He says he was initially "shocked" when the Amador County Unified School District offered him the role, but he's been getting a lot of support from staff and students. "I have to try my best every day for them," he says per ABC. "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." (More uplifting news stories.)

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