Williamston High School Student Government have presented the school's longtime custodian, Gary Aungst, with the honor of leading the 2015 Homecoming Parade.  Aungst will serve as Grand Marshal.

Williamston students are genuinely excited to have offered this opportunity to Mr. Aungst, who has served the school for 38 years, and to have seen "his face light up" as one student council member wrote on Facebook, when the offer was presented.

Dozens of alumni have spoken out about the honor as well; from comments on my Facebook page alone, "This story makes me proud to be an alumni from Williamston High School," Mariah wrote.  Kimberly said "As an WHS grad... I agree. HE IS AWESOME!"

Dawnna wrote "I'm a school janitor as well, seeing this just brought a smile to my face, it's about time janitors start getting acknowledged. The many years this man has invested into his job is remarkable. Congratulations for your services to the school, be proud."

Thousands upon thousands of people have thrown support behind the move with Facebook likes on the WILX-TV Facebook page.

This made us smile! The Williamston High School Student Government has announced that school custodian Gary Aungst will...

Posted by WILX News 10 on Thursday, September 24, 2015

Even his daughter, Sarah, weighed in, writing:

"Thank you so much for featuring my dad. And thank you all for all your kind words. My dad has worked so hard for years, and I am so thankful that he instilled that ethic in me, along with a kind heart and desire to help others. That beard is his claim to fame-- "The Bearded Wonder". He hasn't shaved clean since my parents were married 39 years ago, and he hasn't trimmed it since my mom had surgery in 1995. He is a wonderful man of integrity and faith, and to be recognized like this is a blessing. He's always been a man who works in the background; I'm so happy he gets his moment to shine. Here's one for Big G, Billy Gibbons, TaBuddy, My Daddy."

This is truly beautiful, and particularly special to me.  My dad, who passed away in June, served as a custodian for Durand schools for decades.  He was a well-revered man -- I bet he and Mr. Aungst might have been good friends.  So when I watch Mr. Aungst leading the Williamston Homecoming Parade --- a most deserved gift, it is clear; I'll be thinking about my dad and how proud I am to be his son... something I certainly didn't say enough to him or anyone else while he was here.