5/29/16 Students send principal to the roof

Students send principal to the roof
By Isaac Groves, The Times-News 5/29/16  
Reprinted with permission.

Alexander Wilson Elementary School Principal Dean Richardson waves to passers-by from the roof of the school.  

Photos by Steven Mantilla/Times-News

Alexander Wilson Elementary School Principal Dean Richardson waves to passers-by from the roof of the school.

 

   GRAHAM — When school let out Thursday afternoon, Principal Dean Richardson was on the roof of Alexander Wilson Elementary School waving goodbye to students and getting settled in for the night.

   It was “a little bit warm,” he said.

   “Back in November, we challenged the students — kindergarten through fifth grade — to read at least 1 million minutes between November and May,” Richardson said. “In the course of that time, they had the option to vote on incentives I guess you’d say.”

   Those were having Richardson spend a night on the roof, duct-taping him to the gym wall, or turning him into a human sundae by covering him with whipped cream, caramel and nuts.

   “This is the one they picked by a long shot,” he said.

Students peg Alexander Wilson Elementary School Principal Dean Richardson with water balloons during his overnight campout.  

Students peg Alexander Wilson Elementary School Principal Dean Richardson with water balloons during his overnight campout.

 

   Those 587 students ended up reading about 1,200,000 minutes, he said, or close to 1,900 minutes each, which comes to 470 minutes a month per student. So he went up Thursday afternoon with his tent, sleeping bag, sunscreen and a little work to catch up on.

   Richardson had to explain how this was an exception to standard safety rules to his 4-year-old son, Jeremiah.

   “He kept saying, ‘It’s not safe to be on the roof, it’s not safe,’” Richardson said.

   It was good for morale, he said. Friday was the second day of End of Grade tests.

   “It kind of lightens the mood. This can be a stressful time of the year for the kids and the staff with testing, so this was something to look forward to,” Richardson said. “It’s, what, 15 hours out of the week, so in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that long.

   “If it’s for the kids, that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.”