Students’ Generosity Rewarded

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Eighth grader Riley Gray shaves off the beard of Armand Larive Middle School teacher Kory Morgan on Wednesday. It was part of a reward for students raising nearly $6,000 for a staff member fighting cancer. (Photos by Michael Kane)

Instead of reading, writing and arithmetic, Armand Larive Middle School students were treated to tutus, shaved beards and a surprise guest Wednesday morning.

The occasion was a celebration of the hard work and generosity of the students who – with some help from Sandstone Middle School students – raised nearly $6,000 for a staff member battling cancer. The students were promised that if they could meet the challenge of raising $5,000, School Resource Officer Chris McMahon would wear a tutu – among other highlights.

So, around 9:30 a.m., as the students were sitting in the gym, Officer McMahan – and several other male teachers and staff – paraded out wearing tutus to the roar of the students. The kids were then treated to a dance competition between the tutu-sporting men. Watching the whole thing from a throne in the middle of the gym was the beneficiary of the students’ generosity, Kelly Shy.

School Resource Officer Chris McMahon dances in his tutu to the delight of Armand Larive Middle School students on Wednesday.

One of the highlights of the morning came when special education teacher Kory Morgan sat down in a chair with a smock over his shirt and a student with a pair of clippers hovering over him. Morgan had agreed to shave off his long beard if the students met the challenge. Eighth grader Riley Gray took his time, carefully shaving off the long red whiskers to the cheers of the students.

To cap it all off, motivational speaker and student favorite, Cory Greenwood, kept his promise and returned to Armand Larive to congratulate the kids on their good work. Greenwood was at the school in January and challenged the kids to raise $5,000 to help Shy.

“Don’t forget what this was about,” he told the student body. “It was you guys coming together to change the life of someone for the better. When I threw that figure of $5,000 out there, I knew it was a big goal – but you did it.

“I hope that you guys see that you can accomplish anything.”

The fund-raising efforts were part of a larger, ongoing theme of being kind and giving back to the community.

Assistant Principal Stefani Wyant told the students that their efforts were not a one-time thing.

“Our work is not finished,” she told the students. “Our work goes on.”

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