When I walked into the school, Mr. Perry made me feel welcome. He held the door, greeted me with a smile, and said a cheery, “Good morning.” Even though I only worked part-time at the building, he made me feel like I was an important part of the staff. He happily directed me to the rooms where I met with teachers. He walked the halls of the school like it was a castle. He spoke to students about their education and behavior and treated them like family.
Reading about him, you might think Mr. Perry was the principal, but he was actually the custodian. He could have begrudgingly done his job, complained about the endless work, and kept to himself. But he intentionally shared his smile, his wisdom, and his amazing work ethic with everyone he encountered.
Two weeks ago, he unexpectedly passed away. Even though he never wrote a lesson plan or brainstormed ways to increase student engagement in learning or attended a professional development about new curriculum, Mr. Perry made me a better teacher. I will always be thankful for the lessons he taught me about doing my job with my whole heart. I hope I can impact the lives of the people I work with, in his honor. Thank you, Mr. Perry.