A beloved school custodian was surprised with a goodbye and graduation celebration from students and staff at Wacochee Elementary School in Salem, Alabama, ABC News reports.

On May 25—the last day of school—students and staff celebrated Derrick Harris’ college graduation from Wallace Community College Selma. Students lined the hallways of the elementary school to cheer and held signs that read “You’re my hero!”

Harris worked during the day at the school and attended college classes at night. He has been hired as a physical education (PE) assistant for the 2021-2022 school year and hopes to be a PE teacher in the future. “I’m excited to work with more kids and more students and impact them in a positive way,” Harris said.

Tracie Lane, teacher at Wacoochee Elementary School, told ABC News, “He has been a mentor to so many. He is such a light, a shining light to everybody he’s around. We congratulate you Derrick. We know the sky’s the limit for you.”

Harris plans to attend Auburn University at Montgomery in Montgomery, Alabama this fall.

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