Man is named Principal of the school where he worked as a janitor for 27 years

It is never too late to dream and set new life goals. This is especially true in the case of Gabe Sonnier, who worked extremely hard to get to where he is now!

Gabe Sonnier was a janitor at Port Barre Elementary School. He was happy with his life until the Principal of the school called him aside to give him some advice. It was 1985 when Gabe heard Principal Westley say to him, “I’d rather see you grading papers than picking them up.”

Gabe had a mission that he was determined to complete after this conversation. He was 39 years old at the time and had made the decision to devote the next few years of his life to studies.

“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 steadily, he completed a teaching degree and was hired as a teacher at Port Barre Elementary in 2008. He earned a Masters degree from Arkansas State University after completing his teaching degree.


Finally, after 27 years, Gabe Sonnier became Principal of the same school he had cleaned for nearly three decades in 2013! And, despite being 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 that you are never too old for something and that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to! This is a lesson that should be repeated a thousand times.

Gabe Sonnier is now a beloved principal among all of his students. And he gives his all to his students and his job!