Principal gets silly for jog-a-thon reward

Adams Elementary School Principal Gabriel Del Real was avoiding something at the end of the Friday's morning assembly.

"But I have to do it because I promised," he said.

"You promised, all right!" a student shouted from the crowd of kids sitting on the blacktop.

Making good on his pledge, Del Real stepped into a chalk square drawn on the ground and prepared to be covered in silly string.

As a reward for their 100% participation in Adams' jog-a-thon fundraiser April 24, two classes got to spray the principal from head to toe.

Soon he was cocooned in pink foam while the audience screamed with delight.

Adams was one of many campuses in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District that used rewards like throwing pies at teachers or dunking school principals to motivate students for their jog-a-thons in April.

One week earlier at Kaiser Elementary School, about six students built an ice cream sundae on Principal Deborah Granger's head.

Each student who raised $50 or more during their jog-a-thon was entered into a raffle to heap ice cream, whipped cream and other toppings onto Granger.

Office manager Kathy Dugan said the whole school went wild for the reward.

"When they saw ice cream and goodies dripping down their principal, they were having a great time," she said.

California Elementary School raised more than $25,000 using campuswide prizes as motivation.

Because they broke the $20,000 mark, more than 350 students will line up to throw a baseball aimed to dump Principal Matt Broesamle into a dunk tank.

Administrators didn't expect kids to break the $25,000 mark and reach the final fundraising incentive, Broesamle said, but they made it, so teachers are going through with their promised reward.

Each one will get a pie in the face June 7.

"[Students] work so hard to get you to a certain goal," Broesamle said. "You have to show them too that you're willing to give back to them for their hard work."

At Adams, the PTA asked Del Real to be the recipient of silly string-ing last year, and he decided it was successful enough to do it again.

"This has become a little bit of a tradition, which I'm glad to support," he said.

The incentive helped Adams' jog-a-thon raise $4,000 this year for an art program.

"Like I say," Del Real said before the spraying, "I'll do anything ethical to support our school."

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