Custodian receives honorary high school diploma after 5 decades of service

“I can’t think of anything that I’ll want to do better than what I’ve done for the last 52 years,”
Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 7:10 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - A Florence City Schools custodian is turning in his keys after more than 5 decades of taking care of schools. The days of seeing Mr. George Blackstock around the halls of Weeden Elementary School are coming to an end. After 52 years of service, he’s leaving behind an unforgettable legacy.

“We’re excited about him and his new journey that he’s about to start but we’re also tearful that he has to go. We will never find another George Blackstock,” said Weeden Elementary School Daphnae Hogan.

Blackstock won’t be leaving empty-handed. On Friday, faculty and staff honored his journey in a very special way. A complete surprise, Blackstock received an honorary diploma from Florence High School today. He left school when he was 14-years-old.

“It meant a whole lot to me because like I said I did quit school because of a principal and because of a teacher,” said Blackstock.

Faculty and staff celebrated Blackstock today, many with teary eyes.

“I did not realize that these teachers felt that much because you know I’m a custodian, they got a college degree. They got this, the principal got that. I never felt that these teachers could feel this much towards me. I felt like hey I’m just some dude that’s supposed to clean up stuff and everything,” said Blackstock.

Blackstock’s legacy goes way beyond his job title.

“When he meets people and he encounters people, you cannot help but to love George,” said Hogan.

Blackstock says his work has been fulfilling.

“I can’t think of anything that I’ll want to do better than what I’ve done for the last 52 years,” said Blackstock.

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