Ricky Spaulding, the school janitor at Anderson County High School, received a call on the last day of school informing him of a terrible spill that he would have to clean up in the gym.
Spaulding showed up ready to do his job without complaints, the same way he'd done for the school district year after year. But instead of finding some unpleasant bit of nastiness, he instead found himself staring at everyone -- students and faculty -- there to see him and give him a special gift.
Spaulding and his wife have a son in the military. That son is stationed in Italy, and he and his wife recently gave the janitor a grandchild.
Due to the distance and cost, Ricky Spaulding and his wife had made peace with the fact they would have to wait before having the chance to hold the new addition to their family.
For the students of Anderson County High School, however, that wait was unacceptable. They rallied the school together and raised $1,900 so Spaulding and his wife could take that trip to Italy and be by their son and new grandchild's side.
According to Today.com, the school handed Spaulding the money "in a trash can full of cash" during a pep rally that was staged so he wouldn't find out what they were doing.
Said Anderson County High School principal Chris Glass: "Ricky is such a great guy. It's hard not to give to his cause."
LEX 18 notes that the surprise donations began earlier this year "when students and staff members learned that Spaulding had yet to meet his new grandson."
For Spaulding's part, "Words cannot describe the joy that I feel right now." His wife Lisa added, "It just shows how much they care and I just think it's amazing."
The Spauldings said they hope to make the trip by this winter, "but the sooner the better."
It's always good to see such positive examples like Ricky Spaulding in our public schools with all the negative press that seems to dominate the media landscape.
Recently, we shared another cute story wherein students showed their respect for a school official.
Earlier this week, Santa Barbara High School principal John Becchio was followed around by a mariachi band, who provided theme music all day, as a result of a good-natured senior prank.
Anyone knows, if they've dealt with teenagers in a school setting, that if they target you with something like that, they definitely like you.
We'd rather be Ricky Spaulding, though.