HILLSIDE DISTRICT-- In a move sure to score points with her fellow
students, Krista Thayer’s first act when she took the helm of St. Francis
Xavier School was eliminating homework for the day.
The seventh-grader also extended recess and lunch periods at the
Catholic school Wednesday but her favorite act as “Principal for a Day”
was calling her friends out of class. She said they were excited to be in
the principal’s office without having been summoned there because they
were in trouble.
“It’s really exciting. I really know the privileges of being the
principal,” said Krista, 12, who wore a broad smile as she sat behind
Krista said that although she was the envy of the whole school, she
learned that the it’s no piece of cake being principal. Among her
responsibilities were performing administrative work, answering phone
calls and touring classrooms. She even had to make a speech over the
school speaker system.
Krista was given the principal’s job when her name was randomly
selected from 50 students who turned in at least $150 in the school’s
Jog-A-Thon in October.
Regular principal Nelly de Carvalho said the school implemented the
Principal for a Day program about 10 years ago as an incentive to get
students to raise money in the annual Jog-A-Thon. Students who run in the
race gather pledges from local businesses and residents and those who
raise $150 or more are entered in the drawing to be principal for a day,
said de Carvalho. The money raised helps to defray the cost of tuition at
De Carvalho said her main goal was for Krista to have fun while acting
“Krista is one of the most social principals for a day. She’s answered
phones, visited all the classes and has signed the fire-drill log,” said
On Wednesday, de Carvalho helped out Krista as the student’s
administrative assistant. On Thursday, she made good on a pledge to spend
the the entire school day on the roof if the students earned more than
$25,000 in the Jog-A-Thon. They raised $34,000 and so onto the roof she
Krista said she wouldn’t mind having another crack at the principal’s
“I really liked having the respect of all the teachers. And having
them do what I want,” said Krista.