LAKEWOOD RANCH — B.D. Gullett Elementary School Principal Kathy Hayes handed out awards to high-achieving third-graders at an assembly April 12, wearing green pigtails, overalls and a polka-dot hat.
“You don’t always have to be comfortable,” Hayes said.
Hayes and Gullett Assistant Principal Tia Henderson dressed like clowns for the day because the students, parents and staff raised $17,000 last month during the school’s annual Walk-a-Thon.
That money, which will be used to support classroom programs and resources, surpassed the school’s $10,000 goal and earned students Hayes’ and Henderson’s clowning debut.
Hayes and Henderson started the day becoming clowns, dressing in outfits two Gullett teachers created.
A Gullett mother created Hayes’ wig.
A face painter traveled to Gullett at 7:30 a.m. and applied teardrops, stars and bushy eyebrows to the administrators’ faces.
“The kids were so excited,” Hayes said. “It’s nice for them to see our clown side.”
Last year, after the school also beat its fundraising goal, Hayes spent the day on the roof. The year before, she kissed a pig.
Top fundraising students at the Walk-a-Thon won prizes, including a Kindle Fire, an iTouch and a Nintendo 3DS.
Students in classes raising $250 or more could throw wet sponge balls at their teacher, as well.
Students who brought in more than $50 earned a Jump! dance party, while the top class — Jacqueline Stark’s kindergarten class ($1,184) — went to Central Park for a pizza party.