Albion grad showed up very early at high school for 4 years, opening doors, giving friendly greetings
Devin Ware wanted to brighten mornings for high schoolers
ALBION – High schoolers at Albion could always count on a friendly greeting each morning from Devin Ware. He would open the front door for them at the school, and sometimes hand out candy canes and treats.
Ware for 3 ½ years made giving a warm welcome to his classmates a mission. He would stand at the front doors for about 45 minutes every school day, sometimes in bitter cold.
Ware, 18, graduated on Friday. Twice he won the district’s Character Award – as a sophomore and senior – for his commitment to being at school early to help give his classmates a good start to their day.
“I wanted to help people have a good morning because mornings aren’t the best time for some people,” Devin said.
He started showing up early at school midway through his freshman year, getting a ride with his grandfather, Rob Seymour, who started his workday just before 7 at CRFS in Albion.
Devin preferred riding with his grandfather and getting to school early over riding the school bus.
When Devin arrived at the school campus, he had some time to kill before classes started. He noticed teachers were there early, sometimes with both arms full of papers and books.
Devin opened the door for them. Then classmates started arriving. He opened the door for them, too, staying by the door just before the homeroom bell.
“I got to know a bunch of people by doing it,” he said about the morning routine at the front door.
He became more outgoing, greeting his classmates by name. During holidays he added an extra touch, giving away candy canes before Christmas, treats at Halloween, and Tootsie pops with coffee filters that had holes poked through to resemble flowers. Devin and his grandmother included ribbons with Albion’s color of purple, gold and white with the Tootsie pop flower creation.
Devin said he struggled at one time with anger issues in school and some shyness. But his role as morning greeter helped him become more outgoing and to connect with his classmates.
“I wasn’t really noticed that much in school,” he said. “With opening the door, it made me feel like I was doing something. I kept doing it. Every person I would open the door for, I would say ‘Hello’ or ‘Good morning.’”
Some of his classmates called him “Devin the Doorman.” They appreciated him being there.
Devin said he didn’t just open the door and give a warm greeting to “preferred friends.” He gave everyone the same treatment.
“No matter who you are, I opened the door,” he said.
Devin plans to work the next two years to save up money for college. He would like to study art and work in animation.