Retiring custodian gets sendoff for a king


CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. (WTHR) — After a 12-year career as a school custodian in Georgia, John Lockett got the sendoff of a lifetime.

Lockett, 83, had a long career in construction before becoming a custodian for the Carroll County School System, according to WXIA. His time at two elementary schools has been fulfilling for himself, the students and staff.

His relationships at the school have grown so strong, the students and staff decided to give him a royal sendoff for his retirement.

The students — who affectionately call Lockett "Mr. John" — gave him a crown and a cape before lining the hallways and putting cards into a basket and chanting his name. He had no idea about the plan.

"I was surprised to death," Lockett said.

Principal Carla Meigs said he's at work — with a smile on his face — every day. For the kids, he's become a positive role model and almost like a grandfather to them. For Lockett, the feeling is mutual.

"These kids mean the world to me," he told WXIA. "I come here and try to clean their school and I try to do it right because I know germs and disease is out there."

The school proclaimed the day "Mr. John Day." Battling health issues, Meigs wanted him to retire earlier in the year, but Lockett said he wanted to leave with the students. Now, he'll get to spend more time with his own grandchildren.

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