The week before Spring Break, students at Westerville North High School participated in a Spirit Week to raise money for Pediatric Cancer Awareness in memory of Faith Pruden, a Westerville child who passed away in 2010, at the age of six, from brain cancer. Before she died, she asked her teachers to make sure she was “never forgotten.” The Westerville community, the Westerville City School District, and teachers like Mary Taylor and Lisa Dapoz rallied to her cause and helped Faith enjoy her remaining months – including attending North’s Prom! In the years since, many have kept their promise to Faith and she certainly has not been forgotten.
History teacher Dr. Ben Hartnell was approached by student Trent McFarland and his mother, Nancy, about helping with a fundraiser for Faith at North. Together, they came up with a “Principal for a Day” Challenge and “Faith’s Spirit Week.”
During Advisory, at lunch, and throughout each day that week, students brought in change to place in one of 11 jars, each of which was labeled with the names of 11 teachers who might replace Kurt Yancey as principal. Yancey, in turn, would take on the teaching duties of the educator who had the most money in her/his jar. In the end, North raised $1,903.32, with science teacher Kyle Campbell emerging as the winner of the “Principal for a Day” Challenge. During his 24-hour tenure as principal, Campbell rocked a cardinal-colored sport coat and played music during class changes. He also provided specific instructions over the PA regarding things students were to do each period of the day, like addressing teachers as “sir and ma’am,” writing a dinosaur poem, and coming up with quotes from the movie, Animal House. Yancey rolled up his sleeves and taught Campbell’s Zoology classes out at the land lab and, thankfully, did not lose any students in the trenches.
Different themes every day were on tap during “Faith’s Spirit Week.” The most popular was “Teachers Dress as Students; Students Dress as Teachers Day” and “Costume/Character Day.”
Other schools also hosted fundraisers in memory of Faith, and in the end, more than $5,000 was raised for Pediatric Cancer Awareness. Money donated from Westerville Schools will be used to support families with children receiving cancer treatments at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and will go toward two college scholarships given out each year in Faith’s memory.