Stephen Hansell realized his true calling while working as a campus custodian during the night shift at Klein Oak High School in Spring, Texas. While he’s still employed by the school district, he is stepping into a new role this month. Hansell is now a seventh-grade Texas History teacher at Krimmel Intermediate School.
Hansell, a Klein High School graduate, says his new job is literally a dream come true.
“I know it’s going to sound cliché,” Hansell told the Houston Chronicle. “I had a dream. I can’t remember real details, but I do remember I was teaching in the dream. I woke up with a grin from ear to ear. I was like, you know what, this is what God wants me to do. I know that this is going to be awesome and just the thought from moment one made me smile and makes me smile every single day since.”
The high school shared the news about its former custodian’s new role on Twitter.
Former Custodian Hopes to Inspire Students in New Teaching Role
— Klein Oak HS (@KleinOak) July 22, 2022
The U.S. Navy veteran returned to his hometown after serving and obtained a business degree. After working in a few different industries, he felt pulled to work with students in some capacity, so he took on the custodian role.
“I wanted to work for Klein ISD so that I could do something for the kids,” Hansell said in a Klein Independent School District news release. “Anything would do, as long as I could do my part, so I happily took the custodian job. I eventually researched what I needed to do to become a teacher and am now in the Inspire Texas certification program with Region 4.”
Over the two years he remained in the custodian position, Hansell developed relationships with the staff and students, which inspired him to complete his alternative teaching certification. He credits his wife, family and his “Klein Oak work family” for their support and motivation along the way.
Now, he is striving to reach another goal.
“I’m excited for that first ‘lightbulb moment’ where the student doesn’t understand something, I explain it, and they finally get it,” Hansell told Klein ISD. “It’s going to be the coolest thing ever — that I got to be a part of that and have that opportunity.”