School Principal Takes Third Job to Help Students

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. poverty line / ˈpɒv ər ti laɪn / (n) – the income level that a person needs to reach to buy all basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter

    Most families in my neighborhood live below the poverty line.

  2. beneath (someone/something) / bɪˈniθ / (idiom) – not good enough for someone's/something's rank, upbringing, or position

    The princess believes that talking to commoners is beneath her.

  3. overqualified / ˈoʊ vərˈkwɒl əˌfaɪd / (adj) – having more skill, experience, or knowledge than what is required for a job or position

    The applicant was rejected because she was overqualified.

  4. honorable / ˈɒn ər ə bəl / (adj) – showing honesty or good character

    Admitting when you make a mistake is an honorable thing to do.

  5. move / muv / (v) – to cause someone to have strong feelings

    The teacher was moved by the students’ gifts and thank-you letters.


Read the text below.

North Charleston High School principal Henry Darby has taken a third job at a local retail store to help low-income students at his school.

In addition to working as part of the city council, Darby got another job at Walmart stocking shelves. Darby works at the retail store from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. three days a week. He gives his Walmart paychecks to struggling students and teachers to help them pay bills and school fees or buy food.

Darby said he took the third job because he saw the financial need in his South Carolina community. According to a local newspaper, the families of 90% of the students at North Charleston High School live below the poverty line.

Darby explained that the Walmart job was his way of earning more money to help his community because he did not want to ask other people for help. According to Darby, some of the students were surprised when they found out that he worked at Walmart. They expressed that the job was beneath him and that he was overqualified for it, but the principal used the opportunity to teach them that any honest job is honorable.

The principal’s dedication to his students has attracted a lot of attention. Some people have started fundraisers to support Darby and his community. One GoFundMe page made for the principal has already raised over $180,000. Many people who donated through the platform said they were moved by Darby’s efforts. Walmart also wrote Darby a check for $50,000 to use for his school.

Darby said he did not expect that this many people would reach out. He said it was great that people came together to help students in need and thanked everyone who gave donations.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Darby made the right decision to take on a third job to help his students? Why or why not?
• If you were a student, how would you react if you learned that your principal was working at a retail store? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What low-paying jobs in your country do you think deserve more pay and recognition? Discuss.
• Would you be willing to do a low-paying job? Why or why not?