When John, a janitor, retired from his position at Sand Hill Elementary School, he didn’t think many would care. Well, as it turns out, the entire school cared! And, the children surprised the retiring janitor with the most wonderful gift, moving him to tears. Warning: this story will make you extremely emotional!
Meet John, The Retiring Janitor
Lately, we’ve enjoyed some truly wonderful stories about some incredible human beings who are kind and generous to everyone they meet. From the police officer who surprised a hardworking Walmart employee to the waitress who treated everyone with respect, no matter what they said to her. Now, we can add Sand Hill Elementary School to this incredible list of inspiring stories from 2019.
John Lockett, an 83-year-old man from Carrollton, Georgia, is the janitor at Sand Hill Elementary. Or, more accurately, he was the janitor at San Hill Elementary. Lockett started working in the elementary school ten years ago – at the age of 73 – and he’s been a beloved man on campus for the entire time he’d worked there. Everyone, students, staff, even parents, all know, love, and respect the janitor. That’s because Lockett is not your average school janitor.
Most of us can’t even remember our school janitor. However, Lockett always treated everyone with respect and asked how they’re doing, unlike most. In the decade that Lockett worked at Sand Hill, his positive attitude made him a prominent figure in school. Still, when he decided to retire, he figured not many would their school janitor. However, the students of Sand Hill had something else entirely planned…
King For A Day
Once Lockett announced he planned on retiring, everyone got to planning a surprise retirement party. His wife, Annie helped plan the surprise! Their plan? To make him “King for a Day!” In an interview with Good Morning America, the school principal Carla Meigs said, “He was so surprised that he just cried with the kids. It was so sweet. He is a very humble, hardworking, just dedicated to the job. He is as good as they come.”
In the emotional video of the surprise, you can see how touched Lockett is. First, when Lockett got to the school, Meigs presented him with a crown and cape. Then, hundreds of students greeted him by chanting their name for him, “Mr. John! Mr. John!,” and giving him high-fives. Later, they gave the retiring janitor some gifts and dozens of cards, all made by the students.
Meigs added, “It was the perfect day to celebrate him and make it about him.”
A Bittersweet Goodbye
Sand Hill Elementary School’s extremely sweet and touching goodbye to John Lockett is certainly one of the better gifts anyone could receive. Furthermore, it also taught the kids the importance of appreciating everyone that makes the world turn. Regardless of if you’re a celebrity, janitor, or student, everyone needs a little appreciation. Especially when it’s so easy to give!
Throughout the party and day, everyone had a great time celebrating Lockett’s achievements and effect on the school. It was certainly a bittersweet goodbye for Lockett, who said, “This school means so much to me, I love the kids. I really love my job, it is for the kids.” However, don’t worry too much about Lockett. While he’ll miss his job, he says he’s overall happy and looks forward to spending a lot more time with his wife, kids, grandkids, and his great-grandkids. Hopefully, he’ll still have some time to return to Sand Hill Elementary School and say hi to all his friends and fans! We wish John Lockett a great retirement!