WATCH: High School Principal Works Night Jobs to Help Low-Income Students

What was your high school principal‘s name? Depending on your age and how much you interacted with your principal, you may or may not even remember it. But for some of the students a North Charleston High School, their principal’s name may be remembered for a lifetime because of the impact he had on them. Why? This high school principal works night jobs to help his students.

Why a High School Principal Works Night Jobs

Henry Darby has become something of a celebrity, but not because he’s hoping for fame.

“The attention…I’m not used to it. I don’t think that I’ve done anything really of distinction to warrant the attention,” Darby told the Today show in an interview last year.

However, he’s being called a hero educator because this South Carolina high school principal works night jobs—and has done so for years—to help his students.

Darby, who already had a second job as a county councilman couldn’t just look past his low-income students.

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With 90 percent of his student boy living below the poverty line, Darby goes travels to some of his students’ homes over the weekend to check in.

“I get a little bit emotional because, um, when you’ve got children you’ve heard sleep under a bridge, or a former student or child is sleeping in a car,” Darby explained, “Or when you go to a parent’s house because there are problems and you knock on the door and you see there are no curtains and you see a mattress on the floor…and these people need…and I wasn’t going to say no.”

Having compassion on his situations, Darby started working five nights a week at Walmart to provide for his students who he knew were in need. The high school principal works night jobs stocking shelves from 10pm to 7am to make the extra income, and according to Darby, every penny he makes working at Walmart goes to the students.

Watch the inspiring interview with him here:

Darby Cares

It’s not just in his efforts to provide extra income that Darby shows he cares, however. His students know him as a friendly principal who builds strong relationships as a mentor to his students, as well.

“At North Charleson High School we do express the three Rs—rigor, relevance, and relationship,” Darby explained. ” Everybody knows that I’m gonna hug them. I see them and I say, come here boy, come here child, come here and give me a big hug. I meet them at the door of the buses…I’m just that type of guy.”

In fact, the high school principal works night jobs, not only to make the money to help out low-income students, but also do model a good work ethic and to teach them that a job like one at Walmart isn’t beneath them.

“If some of them could see that if a principal could work at Walmart, why can’t they?” he said.

As Darby explains it, he wants to teach by example. He grew up in a poor family, but his parents taught him to help others whenever they can.

Darby said, “I wish that those of us who are born of poverty and we had to struggle and we made it to at least the lower middle class, that we will look back to help others.”

And even though Darby is working three jobs, and through the night when he could be sleeping, his store manager, Cynthia Solomon, described him as an impressive worker.

“The work ethic that he has just to come into work after his other two jobs is just really remarkable to us,” Solomon said. “His dedication and coming in and doing the job it requires every night is really very impressive.”

Want more proof Darby is a humble hero? The Walmart where the high school principal works night jobs didn’t even know he had another job or what he was doing with his paychecks until someone else told them.

So what’s been the response since people have learned about Mr. Darby?

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Jessica Sausto
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Jessica Sausto is a longtime writer and editor of Christian resources, news, and information.