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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Former School Custodian from Denver is Now the School Principal

Michael Atkins, former custodian turned school principal

Principal Michael Atkins

Denver, CO — Michael Atkins, a former school custodian in Denver Colorado, has been recently promoted as the new principal of Stedman Elementary School. He plans to use his past experiences as a former student in the area and a custodian to become successful in accomplishing his goals in his new career.

As a child, Stedman Elementary had been a part of Atkins’ life. At one point, he was bused to Bromwell Elementary School where he met a second-grade teacher who “took the time and the opportunity to form a relationship that opened a door for me,” Atkins told 9 News.

But he had to separate ways with the teacher when he was bused to Hamilton Middle School. By then, he realized how black students like himself were treated differently even by some teachers.

“Just the different interactions that I had with the teachers, I had the social intelligence at that time to understand there were differences,” Atkins said. “Teachers telling me that I’ll be dead by the time I’m 21.”

By the time he could work, he had his first full-time job at Denver Public Schools at Rachel B. Noel Middle School. That was when he met his old second-grade teacher again and helped him get a job as a paraprofessional teacher.

Since then, he climbed up the ranks and eventually became a teacher, then an assistant principal, and now the principal. He said that as a principal, he hopes to fix problems of racial disparity he experienced when he was a student before.

“So, what I want for my brown students, my black students or my white students is to experience diversity at a high level,” Atkins said.