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McAuliffe Elementary School students laugh as Carson Gierke removes the whipped cream pie from principal Matt Esterby’s face. Star Gazette photos by Chad Richardson

McAuliffe students rewarded for a job well done

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Hastings Star Gazette
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Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

Friday was anything but a normal day at Christa McAuliffe Elementary School in Hastings.

Students were greeted from the roof by principal Matt Esterby as they entered the building.


Then, at lunchtime, a few students were able to smear whipped cream pies all over Esterby’s face.

The special day was made possible by the hard work students put in at raising money for the school’s new playground. They raised enough to earn both privileges.

Lynette Schmaltz helped organize and promote the event with students. They were challenged to collect 7,500 boxtops. They reached that goal and earned the right to see their principal on the roof.

The next challenge was to hit 12,000 boxtops. If they could do that, Schmaltz told the students, they could take part in the whipped cream pie-throwing party. They hit that mark, too.

The boxtops each garner a 10-cent donation, so their work raised about $1,250 for the new playground, which will be installed over the summer.

“The kids were really excited about it,” Schmaltz said. “They worked hard to collect all those boxtops.

“They’re taking the initiative and showing some school pride. They’re helping out their school as well. It’s something little — collecting a boxtop — but it’s going a long way.”

Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
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