Man becomes Principal of the school he cleaned as the janitor for 27 years

It is never too late to dream and set a new goal for your life. This is especially true in the example of Gabe Sonnier who worked tirelessly to be where he is now!

Gabe Sonnier worked as the janitor at Port Barre Elementary. He was content with life as it was going until one day, the Principal of the school took him aside to give him some advice. It was 1985, when Principal Westley said this life-changing sentence to Gabe, “I’d rather see you grading papers than picking them up.”


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After this conversation, Gabe had a mission that he was intent on completing. He was 39 years old at the time and decided to spend the next few years of his life studying.

“I would come to work at like 5 in the morning and leave at 7 and go to school all day and then come back and finish up my eight hours of work here and then go home and do homework,” Sonnier recalls.

Slowly but surely he completed a teaching degree and 2008 received his first teaching job at Port Barre Elementary. After his teaching degree, he went on to get a Masters from Arkansas State University.


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And finally after 27 years, in 2013, Gabe Sonnier became the Principal of the same school he cleaned for almost three decades! And even though he is the Principal, he still cleans his own office!

“Don’t let your situation that you’re in now define what you’re going to become later,” he says about changing one’s life.

He went on saying “I always tell them it’s not where you start, it’s how you finish.”

This inspiring story just goes to show you that you are never too old for something and you can achieve whatever you set out to do! This lesson is one that is worth repeating thousand times over.

Now Gabe Sonnier is a much-loved principal by all of his students. And he gives his students and his job his all!

It is a wonderful thing to see people achieve their dreams and not let everything get in the way!

Share Gabe Sonnier’s inspiring story with others and help encourage them to go after their goals!


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