A former school janitor who turned into a teacher is now the principal of Ione Elementary School in Ione, California. Mike Huss, 55, is humbled by his journey so far and is eager to embark on a new chapter of leading the school, which is located 41 miles southeast of Sacramento and has approximately 540 students. Huss has only been the principal for two weeks but has already received a lot of support from the Amador County Unified School District, his staff, and students. The students at the school, who he used to teach, give him hugs and show their appreciation for his leadership.
Huss has a long history with Ione Elementary as he attended the school as a child and then went on to teach there for 19 years in the first, second, and fifth grades. Before teaching, he worked as a janitor at the same school and made an effort to connect with students. The teachers at the school encouraged him to pursue a teaching career, as they saw his potential to make a positive impact on the students.
Huss initially took the janitor job to support his wife Karen, who wanted to go to college. However, after having their first child, he realized he wanted to show his son that growth and learning are lifelong journeys. He went back to school in the late 1990s to obtain his teaching credential while working full-time and caring for his family.
His efforts paid off as he was hired as a teacher at Ione within a week of graduating. Huss describes teaching as a fulfilling and rewarding career, and his message to others is to support schools and teachers.
Regarding his new role as principal, Huss says he is taking it one day at a time and is grateful for the support of everyone around him. He believes that he can do the job with the help of others and is determined to try his best every day. At the end of the year, he will reflect on his performance and strive to be better next year.