Lincoln K-8 District Wide School student surprise custodian

Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 11:17 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Munir Zukanovic, has been with Rochester Public Schools (RPS) for more than five years.

He’s originally from Bosnia and has been in the U.S. on a Visa but that’s recently changed when he passed his citizenship test.

And because of the accomplishment, the entire school at Lincoln had a hallway parade for Zukanovic.

It started off as a regular learning day at Lincoln Elementary.

“God bless the United States of America. I am so happy. Finally, I am an American Citizen. My dream come true after 22 years I wait for that day,” Zukanovic said.

”He aced the test. And now he’ll be a citizen here,” said Ava Gangelhoff, a third-grader. “I was so happy for him. I was like, ‘oh my gosh.’ Munir’s going to stay here and we’re always going to have so much joy because he’s here.”

“He’s taken a couple of days off to study, and he’d taken it and passed. And I just thought, that’s worth celebrating. That’s so neat. And he’s is just so sweet, so kind and so patient with everybody around them that we just needed to celebrate him,” said Undrea Draney-Woolley, kindergarten teacher.

“The tears in his eyes and the joy, and just what it means to be a U.S. citizen,” said Jim Sonju, said Lincoln Principal.

Zukanovic moved to America from Bosnia towards the early 2000s, after the Bosnian war.

“In the war in Bosnia. I am in a camp nine months and somebody beat me in my head,” he said.

He showed students a gold chain he wears to remember his son who died during the war.

“13 years and six months old. That’s my boy,” Zukanovic said.

So, his citizenship surprise was one he’ll forever cherish.

“From the bottom of my heart I am so happy,” said Zukanovic. “This is the luckiest day of my life.”

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