Tylian Bailey dedicated 24 years of his young age to serve as the custodian of Hightower Elementary School in DeKalb Country, Georgia, United States.
At the age of 40, Bailey enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and a minor in special education at Georgia State University, United States.
“I always wanted to be a college graduate. I always wanted to be a teacher. So having everything sink in at that moment was the best feeling I could ever have,” Bailey shared with WSBTV.
Bailey took classes at the College of Education & Human Development of Georgia State University so that he could pursue the curriculum for teachers. After three years of balancing janitorial work and academic studies, Bailey achieved his goal at the age of 43.
Bailey who was proud of his achievement celebrated his success on Twitter. “Returned to college at 40 yrs old, graduated at 43 yrs old with a B.S.E in Health and Physical Education, minor in Special Education with honors “Cum Laude”, he wrote.
He explained that he worked as a custodian at Hightower Elementary School for over two decades because he loved to give back to his alma mater. “I was really trying to stay in DeKalb Schools. I am a graduate of DeKalb Schools and I wanted to give back to DeKalb Schools,” Bailey said.
Bailey is now a teacher at Briar Vista Elementary school in Georgia, Atlanta, United States. He teaches physical education to all grades, pre-K through 5th grade. “I want them to develop a lifelong passion for being physically active,” Bailey said about his passion for being a teacher.
Speaking about his tenacity for teaching, Briar Vista school principal, Cammie Neil said Bailey was a standout among the 92 applicants they received for the job.
“Someone who has worked as a custodian, to then go to college and get their degree— I wanted to give him a chance,” Neill said