Principal Henry Darby of North Charleston High School would go to any length to serve his pupils, even if it means working three jobs at once.
Darby, who is also a long-serving county lawmaker, recently added a third job to his already busy schedule. He currently works three evenings a week at a Walmart, stacking shelves from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. He finishes his duty barely in time to go to college before the morning bell rings.
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has brought with it a slew of new challenges for individuals all around the world. However, 90% of these high school kids’ families live in poverty in this North Charleston neighborhood, and COVID’s economic ramifications have had a particularly negative impact.
Mr. Darby loves and cares about the kids both inside and outside the classroom, so seeing his pupils and their families struggle has been extremely difficult for him.
He frequently visits with students at their homes or speaks with them about life, and hearing about the conditions in which some of his pupils were living inspired him to do something to help them. Henry Darby took on a significant additional duty in order to assist his students.
He used to work five nights a week when he initially acquired the job. But, realizing that he wasn’t as youthful as he used to be, he began working only three evenings a week in September.
Darby accepted the position to aid his struggling, low-income pupils and their families, not to improve his own salary.
Many children at the school are poor, and Darby wanted to provide them with the resources they need to buy food and pay their bills.
A portion of his grocery business earnings had gone toward helping students pay for college tuition and purchasing items to boost teacher morale.
Darby asks just one thing of his pupils saying his hopes for the students are as follows, “It’s quite simple, simplistic. Just learn to help others. That is one of the greatest things we can do in terms of human beings.”
He didn’t even want the community to know what he was doing to aid. Darby went about his extra work at Walmart with aplomb. He didn’t tell his Walmart manager about his second job or the long hours he worked, and he didn’t tell anybody else that he was doing this for his pupils. He didn’t want to draw attention to himself, and he feels that doing good deeds like this should never be about self-promotion.
When others found out what he was up to, they felt obligated to repay his compassion. When his Walmart coworkers and boss learned about his efforts to assist the students, they were both impressed and astounded by the extent to which this man went to aid others. They wanted to do something particularly nice for him as part of their commitment to helping his kids.
Mr. Darby’s boss from Walmart presented him with a gift disguised under a bag during a party attended by several of Mr. Darby’s students. A cheque for $50,000 was found inside the bag, payable to the order of North Charleston High School. All of that money will now be used to assist North Charleston High School students and their families, which is an extraordinary gift.
Cynthia Solomon, the store manager at the Walmart where Darby works, said that in her 16 years working for the company, he was the first principal she knew of who took on a Walmart associate role.
It was also the first time she had heard of someone donating their entire earnings to help others.
Turns out, Darby is used to this kind of work ethic. He has been juggling three or four jobs ever since his teenage years. During his time as an educator, he worked on various odd jobs at an airport and a glass factory, among several others.
Many teachers are dedicated to assisting their pupils outside of the classroom. Darby is one of many educators whose labor does not end when the school bell sounds. He intends to continue working at Walmart and earning money for his pupils even after getting this huge cheque from Walmart.
While his efforts are exceptional in terms of helpfulness, instructors all across the world try to support their pupils outside of the classroom on a daily basis. It’s encouraging to see one educator’s hard effort pay off and be recognized in this way.