North High principal pays off his prom promise

May 23, 1997


Staff Writer

North Hagerstown High School Principal David F. Reeder wasn't crazy about the idea of moving his office up to the roof.

But Reeder, 40, promised his students he would pull the silly stunt if enough of them promised to not drink and drive on prom night.

The school's Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) group asked Reeder to pledge to do "something crazy" to help its Prom Promise card drive, he said.


Going up on the roof seemed the best of the proposed options, including shaving his head, said Reeder, who in the past has had his tie cut, his face splattered with pies and his moustache shaved after successful challenges.

More than the required 65 percent of his roughly 1,000 students took this challenge and returned a completed Prom Promise card, he said.

So Reeder made good on his promise Friday, spending the better part of the school day trying to work in a makeshift office on the school's roof.

After going up to scout for his new office space Thursday, Reeder said he worried the wind might prevent him from getting any paperwork done.

He said he was having a conference table and four chairs brought up in hopes that visitors, including a group of educators from Anne Arundel County, would climb up to see him.

If nothing else, Reeder said he was planning to bring his cellular telephone so he could call people.

Considering student response and an incident-free prom night on May 10, the roof stunt seemed well worth it, Reeder said.

"Everybody was safe, and we were happy about that," he said. "So I feel pretty good going up on the roof."

Reeder's deal appears to have helped the effort, said SADD adviser Mary Jo Ashburn, who said 667 students and their parents signed a Prom Promise this year.

"It shows to the kids that he's as interested in them as anyone can be," Ashburn said.

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