Virginia Beach, Va. - Pamela Pastros, the principal at Thalia Elementary, is a big fan of Joe Seals who has been working at the school for 27 years.
"I mean he's a legend at Thalia," she says.
Seals is the school's head custodian, but the principal says he's so much more.
"He's been here so long he doesn't see himself as the custodian, because he's not just a custodian, he does anything and everything around this building," says Pastros.
Just ask students like 5th grader Jaylen Harris. "He always makes sure you're feeling good when you're on a bad day."
Another fifth grader, Lilly Moore agrees.
"He's always there. Whenever you're down or doubtful, he'll be just like making you feel better," she says.
Fifth grader Delacey Moore sees Seals as part of the family.
"It's kinda like a big brother, how he acts is like a big brother to me."
He also plays the role of mentor and talks to students about doing their homework and discipline issues.
The principal says it doesn't stop there. "If they need something to stay warm--he's going to find them a coat, mittens, gloves... things of that nature." Sometimes he's buying combs, brushes and socks for the kids.
And because of these things and so much more, Seals we presented Mr. Seals with a NewsChannel 3 People Taking Action Award and a $100 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank. The students who had gathered in the cafeteria erupted into cheers.
"Well I just want to say thank God and thank these lovable kids, because without them, I wouldn't be here and I love helping them."
I asked him why he does all the things he does for the students at Thalia and for Seals it's simple, "From the heart... because I was a kid--there was someone who had to listen to what I had to say."
Oh and his plans for the $100 Visa gift card--treat the kids to ice cream.