There were new school principals at Patriot Elementary School Oct. 30, but this time, they were small and used their authority for extra recess.
Fourth grader Corben Tyler and fifth grader Ethan Kinney got to see their school from a different perspective after they were chosen to be principals for a day through a school-wide raffle.
Students who participated in a school fundraiser were entered into the drawing.
“I was kind of surprised because there’s a lot of people who did the fundraiser, so I really wasn’t expecting to get it,” Kinney said.
Matt Hilderbrand, principal at Patriot Elementary, said it was his idea to raffle off this experience.
“I just thought I would contribute in some way,” Hilderbrand said. “Having the kids hanging out in the office with me and see what I do is kinda cool.”
As principal, the students were presented “principal for a day” badges, got out of class for most of the day and helped Hilderbrand hand out hot chocolate and cider to teachers.
They also ate a Pizza Hut lunch in the office and granted their classes an extra recess and time in the sensory room, a space equipped with items such a giant Legos and exercise balls.
“We didn’t just want it to be us who did the whole principal sensory room thing so we had our class do some things we have to do,” Tyler said.
It was nice to see students share some of their perks with their classmates, Hilderbrand said.
“I think it’s cool that they wanted to extend that even more and include some other kids,” he said.
As principal, Tyler and Kinney also had to read the morning announcements over the intercom.
“I’ve never done it so I didn’t really know what to do,” Kinney said.
Though he was nervous, he said he enjoyed doing it.
Tyler also had fun with that aspect of being principal.
“It’s very fun, exciting and awesome to get to be on the intercom,” he said.
One of his favorite parts of the day for Hilderbrand was giving students an insight into what it’s like to be principal.
“I just hope they see being a principal is something that can be fun,” he said.
He also said he wanted to show students that getting sent to the principal’s office isn’t always a bad thing.
“I tried to just get them to understand what I do,” he said. “They are sometimes in here for different reasons, but it’s not a scary place and it’s not a bad place and these kids get to experience some of the fun things.”