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Murray Journal

Viewmont Students Stick It to Principal During Celebration

Jun 09, 2016 10:09AM ● By Julie Slama

Despite feeling like she was suffocating, Viewmont Principal Missy Hamilton is all smiles as she will do “just about anything” to help students succeed in reaching their goals. This was an incentive to help them raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fundraiser. — Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Few principals can say they’ve been duct taped — willingly — to the gym wall by students, but Viewmont Elementary Principal Missy Hamilton can say she has been adhered twice now.

“If it helps motivate students to raise more money, I’ll do about anything,” Hamilton said, who was duct taped once before at another school where she previously worked. “I’ve kissed a pig, spent the night on the school roof, been dunked in the tank, dyed my hair; it’s all to advocate for the kids.”

The goal was to tape Hamilton to the multipurpose room wall once the school raised $1,000 for Pennies for Patients. On March 23, students did that, with the last piece of tape to hold her in place being put on by the principal’s fourth-grade daughter, Emily.

“I almost felt suffocated, really hot, because all my extremities were strapped down. It’s a lesson in trusting those around you who make sure you’re secured,” she said, adding that first they gorilla taped her, then had students use about eight or nine rolls of duct tape. “After about 10 seconds, I could hear it start peeling, so I’m glad I had some helpers right there beside me.”

However, students surpassed that fundraising mark to reach the next incentive of $2,000, which won students chances to throw pies in faculty and staff members’ faces on April 11.

Students ended up raising $2,271 for Pennies for Patients during a three-week period. The funds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Olive Garden partnered with the drive and gave the class that donated the most funds a free meal.

“We wanted to participate in this since it’s an area that has hit so close to home with one of our students, Carson Ross. It’s a cool thing for our students to participate to help him and have funds go to Primary Children’s Hospital for ongoing research,” Hamilton said.

Carson, who in 2014 was diagnosed at age six with medulloblastoma — a tumor on his brain that caused him headaches and double vision and paralysis-like symptoms on the right side of his face — spent part of first grade at Viewmont in class and part of it at home. Now, Hamilton said he’s on the mend and attending class regularly.

Sixth-grader Sammie Sofonia, who got to help tape her principal to the wall, said she knows the donations that were brought in will be put to good use.

“I know it will help our student, and other schools that may have students with cancer — and in general, a lot of people,” she said.

Classmate Brooke Johnson said that she knows the funds will help families.

“It would be sad to lose a family member so I know this will help try to save those who are sick,” she said.

The March 23 assembly also included singing their school song, “Soar,” which was lead by student leaders.

“It’s a way we bond together as a community and build culture to do great things with our school, families and friends,” school social worker Cherran Zullo said. “It’s a way it unites us.”

Fifth-grader Nicole Ballou said she’s participated in several school fundraisers, but this one was especially fun with the incentives.

“It’s cool to see the principal taped to the wall and be willing to do it,” she said.

Classmate James Hunt agrees.

“It’s fun because not many principals would do it, but she’s fun,” he said. “I just hope she doesn’t fall.”