Principal Gabe Sonnier, Movin' on up!  (Photo from BR Morning Advocate)

Principal Gabe Sonnier, Movin’ on up! (Photo from BR Morning Advocate)

Why am I an educator? I have an illustration.

In my 35 year career in teaching and learning, the most moving success that my work touched is Gabe Sonnier. Mr. Sonnier became the principal of a St. Landry Parish elementary school last November. What makes that story rich is that for over 20 years, he was the custodian at that same school.

He started his college degree as a 39 year old adult at LSU Eunice where I work, attending night classes. He swept and mopped school floors by day and attended classes in his spare time. It took him 6 years to finish the B.S. in elementary Ed. He jokes that he went from emptying student paper from trash cans to grading student papers.

He started teaching at his school right away, but he also continued into graduate school and earned his M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision. And then he became principal!

To me, Gabe’s story represents the mission of teaching and learning. CBS did a piece on him last month. More of his heart warming story is online.