Mike Huss is the new principal at Ione Elementary School, a K-to-6 public school in Ione, a small city southeast of Sacramento. Mike attended the school as a child and remained a student in the district until he reached eighth grade.
As an adult, Huss was a constant figure at Ione Elementary School during the years he served as a nighttime janitor from 1989 to 2003 and then as a teacher from 2003 to 2022.
On days when he'd work double shifts, Mike would cross paths with students who would chat with him while they watched him clean. Others would show off their class projects whenever he'd stop by to clean their classrooms.
And when staff members at the school told Mike he should switch to teaching in 1996, he finally became open to the idea, as he was starting a family at the time, so earned his degree and began teaching in 2003, the same year his daughter, Mia, was born. He went on to become Mia's first and fifth-grade teacher.
He eventually became the school’s teacher-in-charge during his third year, and the role is similar to that of a vice principal, and for 16 years, he juggled both roles. Then he was offered the role of principal a week before the 2022-2023 school year started. He said he was shocked by the offer.