WATSON -- For the last 30 years, Randy Whitley has done anything and everything at Live Oak High.
He takes out the trash, sweeps and mops the floors, greets people with a friendly “hello” and handshake in the halls, and has even bought presents for students.
And on days like last Friday, Feb. 7, he returns what isn’t his — even a wallet filled with $1,000 in cash.
Live Oak High Principal Beth Jones recognized Whitley, a custodian at the school for the last three decades, for his act of kindness during an assembly in the gym on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
With a couple hundred students seated in the gym, Jones relayed the story she felt needed to be shared school-wide.
Whitley was cleaning the stands following a basketball game when he found a wallet that someone had misplaced.
Inside the wallet was $1,000 in cash.
With no one there to claim it, Whitley found the address on the driver’s license and drove to the person’s home to return the wallet — along with every dollar bill that was in there, Jones told the students.
Others told Jones and the administration about Whitley’s act of kindness over the ensuing weekend, prompting her to recognize him for what he did in front of the student body.
Even if Whitley wasn’t going to talk about what he did, Jones wanted to make sure others knew what he did.
“He doesn’t ever like to toot his own horn, but he’s great,” Jones said. “He’s always doing for the kids. He’s an example of what Live Oak High is all about. I hope everyone looks up to him, and he does everything to the best of his ability.”
Jones told the students that Whitley personifies “the high expectations we have for the students teachers and staff here” at Live Oak High.
“He is one of those people who gives 100 percent,” she said. “He’ll give the shirt off his back. You can ask him to do anything, and he always has a smile on his face. He goes that extra mile. He is a true blessing to have at our school.”
Whitley’s act of kindness exploded on social media after The News shared his story, with the post reaching more than 12,000 people on Facebook alone.
All told, it was liked more than 250 times and shared by more than 450 people, with many adding captions such as “well deserved” or “Mr. Randy is the best!”