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Every student’s dream

Flood fundraiser allows students to hit teachers in faces with pies

Published: Saturday, May 4, 2013 5:00 a.m. CDT
(Herald Photo by Eric Lutz)
Jessica Ward, sponsor of student council, at right, is handed napkins after getting a pie in the face from Jakob Roth, not pictured. Ward is one of the Saratoga School teachers who “won” the opportunity to be struck with a dessert as the result of students voting with money for their lucky favorites on the faculty.

Ever since homework was invented, it’s been pretty much every kid’s dream to throw a pie in his teacher’s face.

For Jakob Roth, a sixth-grader at Saratoga Elementary School, that dream became a reality Friday afternoon.

Jessica Ward, student council sponsor and the teacher in question, wearing a black garbage bag and goggles, stood at the ready.

Roth smiled as the stands of one of the school’s gyms erupted in wild cheers, and then smooshed the whipped-cream pie into Ward’s face.

“It was fun,” Roth said afterward. “I’ve always wanted to do that.”

“It was a rush.”

All this pie business -- it wasn’t just some sort of cinematic retribution for too much homework. It was a fundraiser for families displaced by last month’s flood.

According to Ward, members of student council had long wanted to have a pie-throwing event. So when they needed to find a way to raise money for flood victims, it seemed a good fit.

All week long, kids from kindergarten to eighth grade put money in a bucket based on which teacher they most wanted to see pied.

The ten teachers with the most money “won.”

A raffle was also held to determine which students would be getting to do the pie-ing.

In a gym filled with kindergartners to fourth graders, teachers Jeri Williams, Mary Ann Bonic, Catherine Thomas, Gianna Eber and Molly Hussey were the recipients.

Third-grader Jeffrey Turner, second-graders Jeremy Loomis and Race Zuninga, fourth-grader Ryan Fischer and first-grader Emma Johnson got to do the honors.

The K-4 group raised $448.82 Friday alone.

One gym over, teachers Megan Hoff, Sandy Kruegel, Steve Ross, Sally Hausken and Ward were the lucky winners.

The fifth through eighth graders raised $366.78 Friday.

Hoff led off.

Eighth-grader Sabrina Baftiri was called down from the bleachers and handed a pie. With the applause of her peers at her back, she shoved the pie into her teacher’s face.

Baftiri then regarded Hoff with a sympathetic, almost apologetic look, and the two shared a hug.

It was the first time Hoff had ever gotten hit with a pie.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Hoff said.

Kruegel was served next, courtesy of sixth-grader Kole Fischer.

Then came Ross, who took a pie to the face from seventh-grader Jena Weist. Ross, a good sport, took a bite of what remained in the pan.

Hausken was pied by Aiden Lawyer, and then it was time for Ward — who oversaw the organization of the fundraiser — to get her pie.

“It was a blast,” Ward said. “Even to be the one getting the pie in the face, it was a lot of fun.”

For the students and staff, though, it was about more than the fun.

It was about the almost $1,400 the students raised over the course of the week.

“To be able to help these families is such a great thing,” said Hoff. “It just shows how awesome these kids are. We have a wonderful school.”

“I never could have imagined how successful this would end up being,” Ward added.

And as fun as throwing a pie at your teacher may be, Roth said it was more fun to raise the money for a good cause.

“A lot of people lost a lot of their belongings and memories,” Roth said. “We can’t bring those kinds of things back, but we can help them get back on their feet.”

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