Mike The Mailman Does Deliver

Amazingly, this is my 2nd “inspirational mailman” story in 2 days.

Yesterday I highlighted Westport’s George “Nooky” Powers.

Today it’s Mike the Mailman. You may not have heard of him, because he works at Penn State University.

Mike the Mailman...  (Photo courtesy of CBS News)

Mike the Mailman… (Photo courtesy of CBS News)

Then again, you may have heard of him. If, that is, you were like Hedi Lieberman: snowed in, and watching “CBS Evening News.”

Mike Kerr is a much-loved postal worker in State College. He’s worked there for 38 years.

He was grand marshal of the Homecoming parade. One woman buys stamps when she doesn’t need them, just to see Mike.

So what does 16801 have to do with 06880?

Mike Aitkenhead.

...and Mike the Teacher.

…and Mike the Teacher.

“You really have no idea who you’re going to influence and when you’re going to influence them,” says Mike, who CBS’ Steve Hartman identified as “a high school teacher in Connecticut,” but who we know as both an outstanding Staples High School educator and the Wakeman Town Farm steward.

But let CBS Evening News take it from there:

(Mike Aitkenhead) got his master’s at Penn State, and although he didn’t know Mike the Mailman very well, years later, when he was awarded teacher of the year in his district, guess who he thanked for his success.

“The one person I’m always going to remember and probably taught me the most about life was actually Mike the Mailman,” Michael said in his speech.

“It was honestly his example that kind of taught me it’s not what you do in life, but it’s how you do it,” Michael says.

Now that’s something to write home about.

5 responses to “Mike The Mailman Does Deliver

  1. While I would be hard pressed to identify most of my professors in a lineup, I immediately recognized Mike – and smiled when I did. I haven’t seen him in person in more than two decades but that speaks to the lasting impact of smiling and kind words in an otherwise harried day. Like our Mike at WTF where you’re also guaranteed a smiles and kindness, I felt a lasting impact from my trips to the post office and always try to share the same. So few people really do walk the talk so I’ll make it a point to swing by this April when I’m back on campus to speak at a conference to thank him in person. Another reason I’m proud of Penn State (for two more, check out Sue Paterno’s interview with Katie Couric on Monday and THON next weekend where Mike will be delivering mail to dancers at our little fundraiser that last year alone raised over $10 million for kids with cancer.)

  2. By the way, if you do venture to Penn State, look for Mike in the University Park post office at zip code 16802… 🙂 Cindy Cornell

  3. Bobbi Essagof

    If anyone does it right its Mr. A. Great teacher nice guy!

  4. Mr A was one of my favorite teachers at Staples because I knew he cared about his students and was passionate about the material he taught. You can tell he took Mike the Mailman’s words to heart. I’m grateful I was able to have Mr. A at Staples and am glad I’m still able to stay in touch.

  5. Arline P.Gertzoff

    I don’t have his picture but Jim O’Neil has faithly been delivering my mail on Fillow Street for 30 years easily..Even puts it between the doors or rings the bell when the box is too full.Always a cheerful word or a note .Could not ask for better service with a smile. Here’s to you Jim.
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