Thurman Carthen has been a custodian at the same high school for 13 years. As a passionate and talented singer, he would sometimes take a break from his daily duties to sing happy birthday to a school staff member.

He was unaware, however, that the students paid any attention to his musical abilities – which is why he was so touched that the youngsters asked him to sing at their graduation ceremony.

Carthen was especially emotional over the request because he is retiring from his long career at Galena High School in Reno, Nevada next week.

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“This is a great way to end my career,” said the 65-year-old janitor, according to USA Today. “I mean, I help the kids hang up their banners and stuff, but this was really something.”

Carthen sings at his church every Sunday, but this was the first time that he has ever sang to a real crowd – and it’s easy to tell that he savored every minute of it.

As the students can be heard clapping and cheering for his soulful and stirring rendition of the tune, the beloved custodian nails every note. At the end of his performance, the entire stadium gives a standing ovation – which is a fitting sendoff for a man who the school principal describes as “one of the nicest, most sincere people you could ever meet.”

(WATCH the video below)

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