Educators get pie in the face

February 06, 1997


Staff Writer

One by one, Northern Middle School students stepped forward and took their best shots as they hurled "pies" at their school leaders on Thursday.

Some did it with mock vengeance in their eyes. Others were shy about throwing paper plates full of whipped cream at their mentors.

Behind them was a cheering section of students who watched the stunt play out in the school gym.

Principal Richard Gehrman and Assistant Principal Valerie Novak had promised to be targets for any homeroom classes that sold more than $1,500 in gift items for a Parent-Teacher Association fund-raiser.


Three classes, or about 90 students, earned a shot at Gehrman, Novak or a teacher.

Two recent school fund-raisers brought in a combined $21,500. Added to a $32,000 state grant, the funds will be used to build a state-of-the-art computer lab at the school. The 30 computer work stations will be networked and have Internet access.

"It was worth it," said Gehrman, who had the hood of his gray Redskins' sweatshirt pulled over his head.

"The kids remember then that their participation in the fund-raiser was appreciated by everybody, including us," Novak said.

Two sixth-grade classes and one eighth-grade class were the top sellers. The younger group took their shots at the educators in the morning and the eighth-graders' turn came after lunch.

"I didn't know we were going to have so much fun," Novak said.

Physical education teacher Allen Eisenhuth, one of the targets, stuck out his tongue at eighth-grader Chasity Slick, 13.

Her throw hit him squarely in the face, which was protected by science-class goggles and a blue shower cap.

After the students finished, Gehrman took aim at Novak. She returned the favor.

Gehrman is known for doing some unusual things to motivate students.

He once spent half a day on the school's hot roof after students raised enough money to send a team to the Odyssey of the Mind competition.

He also used the pie trick when he was principal at Boonsboro Middle School.

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