81-year-old Georgia man proves it's never too late to learn, earns GED

When the job of head custodian became available at the end of last school year, Woodland Middle School Principal Michael Blankenship knew he had the right man for the job.

"He represents what we call 'the Woodland way,'" said Principal Blankenship.  "He has a work ethic that can compare to none." 

Unfortunately, Principal Blankenship could not give custodian Herbert Perkinson, 81, the promotion because Perkinson did not complete high school.  So, Blankenship encouraged him to get his GED.

Perkinson said his daughter helped him study over the summer and at a special faculty meeting at the school Wednesday, he was recognized for passing all three tests required.  Teachers at the school gave Perkinson a standing ovation. 

"I'm very proud of him.  He's a smart man," said Lenora Perkinson, Herbert's wife.

Perkinson's determination has already inspired others. 

"My grandson, he said he was going to quit school and after he found out I got it, he said he wasn't going to quit 'cause he was going to beat me," Perkinson laughed. 

Principal Blankenship has officially offered Perkinson the head custodian position beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.