With a mix of determination and support, a man who worked as a janitor in different schools has worked his way up to become the new principal of an institution he used to clean.
Denver Public Schools custodian, Michael Atkins was once a dedicated janitor who did not give up his dream of bettering is life.
According to BBC, part of his success can be attributed to his stellar work ethics while he was still a cleaner.
He took pride in what he did and never once complained about his job.
“I took pride in the bathrooms I cleaned. I took pride in the rooms that I vacuumed,’’ the school head said.
He credits his transition from cleaning the hallways to teaching, to his second grade teacher whom he ran into on the job.
Michael says the teacher built a special relationship with him at age seven, and helped him get a job in the classroom as a paraprofessional teacher.
He applied the same pride he took in his work as a custodian to his new role, which enabled him to climb the ranks.
He then escalated from custodian, to teacher, to assistant principal and now the new principal of Stedman Elementary School, a school he grew up around as a kid.
Michael revealed that as a child he realised black students were treated differently.
“Just the different interactions I had with the teachers, I had the social intelligence at that time to understand there were differences,” Michael said.
He hopes to help correct the racial disparities he experienced as a kid.
“So, what I want for my brown students, my black students or my white students is to experience diversity at a high level,” he said.
With the first hand experience the man acquired growing up, to his unique perspective as a custodian, he is perfectly positioned to help them do just that.
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