David Howard was a custodian at Johnson Primary School in West Tucson for 20 years. The the last 10 of those years, Mr. Howard has been dressing up as Mario. Why dress up as Mario, you ask? Mr. Howard said he did it in order to relate to the kids. He also used the costume as a way to encourage kids to show up to school and work hard. If students followed through and did their best, Mr. Howard would dress as Mario to reward them.
David Howard had his last day at work on May 17th, 2019, retiring after his 20 years of service. Howard didn't disappoint on his final day, dressing up as Mario one last time to say goodbye to students and staff alike. There was even one student who started crying because she had to leave early and thought she'd miss Mario, but Mr. Howard made sure to meet up to say goodbye.
As a final goodbye from his position, family and friends came together in a classroom to celebrate. Of course, David was given a Mario cake for the festivities.