CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — National Custodian Day was a very special day for a custodian working at Ella Barnes Elementary this week.
Mr. John Jackson, or Mr. John, as the kids like to call him, is loved by students, staff, and parents.
Fifth grade teacher, Kathy Ritter, says he's the heart and soul of the school.
To show their appreciation, the staff at Ella Barnes got together and surprised Mr. Jackson with two tickets to the Dallas Cowboys versus Washington Redskins game in December, all expenses paid.
Mr. Jackson is a huge Dallas Cowboys fan so students and staff dressed up in Cowboys gear to present him with the tickets.
"I just want to thank the staff starting with the principal and the assistant principal. To me, it's a blessing for me to be here and to work with a good group of staff. For them to go out of their way to care for me that way, you know, I appreciate it," said Mr. Jackson.
"People might think custodians just clean, but what makes Mr. John so special and extraordinary is that he makes connections with our kids. He does high fives, today I saw him helping a little student tie their shoe in the hallway, he gives them fancy handshakes and he greets them in the morning. He opens car doors and when it's raining out, he's there with his umbrella with the rest of us. Every student on this campus will remember Mr. John when they leave," said Katie Gorman, Ella Barnes Principal.
"I always say he's the heart and soul of the school. I always tell everybody that this place is not our home if he's not here. If he's out for a day you can feel it campus-wide," said Kathy Ritter, 5th Grade Teacher.
"He really makes those connections. If the kids having a bad day he'll chat with them. So, that's what makes him so special because he goes above and beyond and he really, truly, is part of our team. He understands the importance of doing that," said Principal Gorman.
Mr. Jackson says he will take his wife on the trip.