GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Previous recipients of the coveted Outstanding Achievement Alumnus award have included a billionaire, a noted surgeon and magnates of music, science and industry, according to The Grand Rapids Press.
This year's winner was none of those, but a humble school janitor whose greatest asset is that he treats everyone he meets with uncommon kindness and dignity, the article stated.
According to the article, yesterday, Bruce Towne, the head custodian at East Grand Rapids High School, had no idea that he would be the guest of honor before the entire student body, or that he was about to become a recipient of Greenville Public Schools’ Outstanding Alumnus for 2013.
"Bruce brings something to work every day. But you can't teach it, you can't coach it," said middle school principal and football coach Peter Stuursma, who choked up in honoring Towne.
The award is given in honor of "Kabookie Week," a time to honor the memory of Jimmy "Kabookie" Gerken, a "developmentally disabled gentleman who owned the town before his sudden death 11 years ago," and showered attention on other people, not himself, the article noted.
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