Rock star janitor inspires kids at Independence elementary school

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Alo Key goes about his business as the head custodian at Three Trails Elementary in Independence with a smile on his face and a bounce in his step.

“We are very lucky and blessed to have Mr. Alo Key here serving our students,” Kevin Lathrom, the school principal, said.

You might say Alo Key has a song in his heart.

But he also has a song on iTunes. And YouTube. Lots of them, many with hundreds of thousands of views.

“Well some of the kids are surprised,” Key smiles. “I mean it’s not every day your custodian busts out with the guitar and starts singing.”

But that’s just Key often does, even this week, in a summer school session at Three Trails.

“I started to play some of his YouTube songs down in the cafeteria on Fridays,” Lathrom said. “And when kids found out, they were like ‘wow this is Mr. Alo! This is great.’”

Key spent years touring the world as a professional singer but returned to his hometown of Independence to raise his own growing family in 2015.

Teachers and parents believe Alo Key, while not a teacher, is teaching young minds the kinds of invaluable lessons you can’t learn in a classroom. Lessons like: there’s often a lot more than meets the eye, in the people and places you see. Because if the school custodian can also be a rock star, to a young mind, it confirms that just about anything might be possible.

“Honestly it means the world,” Key said. “Music means everything to me.”

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