Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — Students at New Boston School were dismissed early on Thursday to start their summer break, but there was still one bit business left to finish. Teachers this week collected money from students to send to Oklahoma schools damaged by an F5 tornado earlier this month. Students chose which teacher to give their donations, and the teachers with the most money were rewarded with pies in the face on Thursday.
Five staff members set canisters in the cafetorium on Tuesday, and students were invited to vote with donations for the staff member they would most like to see take a pie in the face. The participating staff members were Superintendent Mike Staggs, Elementary Principal Diane Chamberlin, High School Principal Melinda Burnside, Treasurer Donna Grimm, and maintenance worker Sam Fannin.
Voting ended at the end of the day on Wednesday and after only two days students had donated about $300.
“I’m glad we’re getting this money for the schools. We’re donating it directly to the schools in Oklahoma through the Oklahoma School Boards Association,” Staggs said. “For just two days of donations, to get $300 from our kids, I think is just incredible.”
Staggs took the most votes, Burnside came in second, and Chamberlin was third.
“I’m kind of surprised the principals didn’t get more votes,” Staggs joked.
Before dismissing students for the summer on Thursday, they each sat quietly in the gymnasium as students were randomly selected to take turns smacking them in the face with pies. Because Staggs had the most votes, he got the most pies — three to the face. Burnside took two, and Chamberlin took one.
Students smiled widely as their enthusiastically shoved pies in their teachers’ faces, while their classmates cheered them on loudly from the stands.
“It was a fun thing. I was nervous about it all morning, but those two seventh graders (who threw the pies) … I probably deserved it,” Burnside said.
Chamberlin’s punishment wasn’t quite as severe, taking only one pie gently pressed upon her face by an elementary student.
“I love that about my students,” Chamberlin laughed. “This is a great end-of-the-year fundraiser for kids.”
Chamberlin said the school staff will be donating even more money before it is sent to Oklahoma, but they waited until after the voting period so not to influence its outcome. Burnside said the school might do this again next year, to reward their students at the end of the school year and help contribute to a good cause.
Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.