Hudson -- Instead of pocketing a wad of cash found while cleaning a district school last year, a custodian decided to donate the unexpected windfall to help fund field trips for elementary school children with special needs.
Jeff Noll, who has been a custodian at East Woods Elementary School for more than a year, found $250 in cash in a classroom he was cleaning.
Noll's first thought was not keeping the money but worry about who dropped the money, he said.
"It could have been someone's grocery money or money needed to pay a bill," Noll said. "I just wanted to make sure the person got it back."
Noll turned the money in to his supervisor. The school office attempted to find the owner, but was unsuccessful. After a year, the money was to be given to Noll, according to the district.
However, instead of taking the money for himself, Noll decided to "pay it forward," according to the district and use it to help defray transportation costs for field trips scheduled for students with special needs in Josanne Hyclak and Kristen Eiskamp's classes.
"The kids really love going places and they need transportation. I know how much it means to them and the teachers and I'm glad I can help out," Noll said. "Trying to find the money by grants or fund raisers is a lot of extra paper work and volunteer time for teachers."
"Those kids need all the help they can get and appreciate all that they get," he said.
"As far as helping out others.... I have always believed in treating others the way you want to be treated by not only setting a example for others but by representing what you believe in, Noll added.
East Woods Principal Paul Milcetich commended Noll for his actions.
"I commend Jeff for donating the money to support the transportation cost for a few of our special needs classes to take field trips," Milcetich said. "These trips may not have otherwise happened."
There is a "general lack" of funds available for student field trips without donations, Milcetich said.
"It was truly noble of Jeff to think of our students and their unique needs and provide them with a means for a very relevant educational experience," Milcetich said. "He deserves recognition for this very selfless deed."
Kristen Eiskamp, a special education teacher at East Woods, called Noll's actions "a kind and thoughtful gesture."
"He definitely deserves thanks and he is a really super guy," Eiskamp added.
Noll has been with the district for about 10 years.
Superintendent Phil Herman called Noll just one of the "outstanding employees Hudson City Schools are loaded with."
"Employees who not only do a great job in their assignments, but who also go above and beyond to provide positive experiences for our students," Herman said. "Jeff's actions are one more example of a staff member doing just that."