Students tape principal to wall


On Monday, Carlisle Elementary School Principal Paula Vertikoff found herself in a sticky situation after students in the school spent the morning taping her to a wall as the finale for a school fundraiser.

Students at the school participated in a flower sale fundraiser this semester and collected more than $8,000 to go towards supplies and field trips at the school. As a reward, students who participated in the fundraiser got to make a stop on their way out of the cafeteria and place a strip of tape onto Vertikoff, who was eventually covered in dozens and dozens of strands of multicolored tape.

“It’s a fun incentive for the students,” Vertikoff said, standing on two crates and taped against the wall. “I’ve done a dunk tank and a pie in the face before, so this was a new idea.”

Students were shocked to see Vertikoff and frequently asked what she would do if she needed to go to the bathroom or a meeting. One student suggested skipping class because he felt there would be no one at the school that could get him in trouble.

“They’re shocked, but they’re excited,” Vertikoff said. “It gets them excited about school, specially coming back after spring break. It’s something different.”

Kendra Ratliff, the Carlisle PTO treasurer, was one of the volunteers on hand Monday to hand strips of tape to students. Ratliff said the PTO tries to do events for the kids every couple months and said the flower sale is the largest one. Ratliff said she enjoyed seeing the students’ faces when they saw Vertikoff stuck to the wall.

“It’s funny watching the kids’ reactions,” Ratliff said. “It’s good to see them enjoying (school) and laughing. It’s been good seeing everyone’s surprised reaction.”

At the end of lunch, Parker McCrery, the fifth grader who sold the most flowers, was given the honor of pulling the crates out from under Vertikoff’s feet. Parker said it was “kinda fun” to pull the crates out from under Vertikoff, and he enjoyed the reactions from all the nearby kindergarteners as the tape creaked and held Vertikoff up.

“The tape started to fall so I thought she was going to fall on the kindergarteners, so that was a little scary,” Parker joked. “I was sick when my mom told me (I’d get to do this). I was surprised. I’m super happy I sold all those flowers in my last year at Carlisle.”

At the end of the event, Vertikoff was peeled off the wall and was getting used to having her feet on the floor again.

“This was better than a pie in the face or a dunk tank,” Vertikoff said.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.

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