BROCKWAY — To the delight and awe of many Brockway School District elementary school students, Principal Candace Patricelli gave a pig a smooch Friday afternoon.
For Patricelli, it was a different way to follow in her father’s footsteps.
“The stunt,” as it’s known, is a reward to students for their participation in Read Across America, a national celebration of literacy centered around Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
“We have been doing Read Across America for at least the last 20 years. Each year, the school has a goal to reach for reading a certain amount of books and/or pages. We always make the goal. It is probably because we usually have a fun stunt for the principal to perform if the goal is reached,” said Patricelli.
RAA week, which includes a week-long book fair, rocking chair reading in the hallway with guests, and theme days, is an exciting event at Brockway Elementary. The cafeteria even has Dr. Seuss-inspired food.
The week culminates in two events — a Dr. Seuss celebration, which is a family fun night with Bingo for books, a dance party, birthday cookie decorating — and “the stunt.”
Patricelli, the school’s new principal, said 20 years ago, in 1998, her father, Robert Cherubini, was principal there when the stunts started. The principal is at the mercy of a group of teachers whose job it is to decide what “stunt” the principal will undertake.
“His (Chreubini’s) very first stunt as principal was to kiss a pig. This year, I am recreating the tradition to kick off my first year as the principal,” Patricelli said.
“The committee even had him come in during the assembly to give me some pointers. In the past, as the assistant principal, I’ve been pied in the face and duct taped to the wall.”