81-Year-Old Middle School Custodian Earns GED To Get Promotion

Herbert Perkinson spent 40 years working as a truck driver but decided to find a job that kept him close to home. Five years ago, he started working as a janitor at Woodland Middle School in Euharlee, Georgia. The 81-year-old worked hard and was loved by students and staff members. He recently found out there was opening for school's head custodian position. Unfortunately, he was not eligible for the promotion because he never graduated from high school.

"It broke my heart and his to that we couldn't offer him the position at the time," Michael Blankenship, the school's principal, said.

That didn't stop Perkinson though. He enrolled in classes and spent his summer break studying with his daughter to earn his GED.

When the new school year began, Perkinson was honored for his achievement and told that the head custodian position was his.

"This man represents that the learning never stops," Blankenship said.

Perkinson credits Blankenship for encouraging him to earn his GED so he could take the job.

"I never would have tried to get it, but he wanted me to take this position," he told WXIA.

He says that he wants to set an example for the students because he knows they respect him.

"A lot of them--they look up to me. They tell me 'thank you' for keeping the classroom so clean for them."

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