By Marianne Mueller


Principals from Rockton Grade School and Whitman Post Elementary camped out on the roof of Rockton Grade School on June 7. The camp out was done in response to students in the district meeting their fundraising goals.

Every year students at Whitman Post Elementary and Rockton Grade School take part in a “Fun Run” which is set to raise money for the PTO. This opens doors for teachers to apply for grants to purchase flexible seating, new novels or other items or experiences needed to supplement curriculum. Incentives are put in place prompting success for students to meet and to surpass each Fun Run goal. This year a new vision was put in place.  

As in past years students who participated in the 2021 Fun Run in the Rockton School District bypassed this year’s fundraising goals of $10,000 by raising $10,343.82 after expenses. Students can either be sponsored by a flat donation or per lap completed. 

One of the special incentives in support of these efforts is a promise that if Fun Run goals are met that Principals would camp out on the roof of the schools for one night. 

On June 7, Principals from Rockton Grade School and Whitman Post Elementary School kept this promise by staying the entire night camping out on the roof of Rockton Grade School. Students and parents came by to show their gratitude to RGS Principal Mrs. Etnyre, WPES Principal Mrs. Forsythe, RGS Assistant Principal Mrs. Hauser and WPES Assistant Principal Mr. Bonne. 

While on the roof Mrs. Forsythe read a bedtime story and the Principals enjoyed pizza given to them by grateful parents. Greetings, waves and smiles came in from visitors on the ground.   

The Rockton PTO has organized this event for over a decade.  It has been held every year at Rockton Grade and Whitman Post Elementary Schools. 

“When we first promoted the event to our students, we decided to give them a fun incentive to work towards, WPES Principal,” Mrs. Forsythe said. “We wanted the kids to know their principals were committed to this fundraiser too!”

Stephen Mack Middle School has also participated in previous years with a variation of the Fun Run geared more toward older students. Fun themes include one from two years ago where SMMS had a “Color Run” with spray-on body paint. 

This year proceeds will go toward purchasing new playground equipment for all of the schools in the Rockton School District, which includes Rockton Grade School, Whitman Post Elementary and Stephen Mack Middle School. 

After showing successful results in the 2019 Fun Run principals became human ice cream sundaes. “I have only become an ice cream sundae one time. It was a fun experience to see the kids’ expressions, but it was pretty disgusting,” Forsythe said. “I would rather kiss an alpaca again.”

Etnyre says, “I would consider being an ice cream sundae again! The kids absolutely loved the event and I think the teachers did too! “

“As PTO President, I am so grateful for our Administration and their willingness to put themselves way out there in wacky ways as an incentive to engage the students in this event!” Rockton PTO President Abby Czaja said. 

Some of the past rewards for students exceeding goals, Forsythe has dressed up as a giant banana and had students throw whipped cream pies at her.  

“I have been duct taped to the front of the school bus as students were dismissed at the end of the day, and we have kissed alpacas.” 

“We would like to thank our Rockton families and community for supporting our school district, PTO and school initiatives. We live in one amazing place!”

“Our community has really gone above and beyond to support the PTO this year! We hit our goal for the Fun Run and then some,” Forsythe said. 

“That being said, we still have a long way to go in order to bring new and updated equipment to our schools. We are aiming to make the playgrounds more appropriate for all of our students, including bringing in more accessible equipment and creating an Early Childhood area at RGS. “

“There is still work to be done, but we have made some great headway toward our goal since we set it a year and half ago! When called upon, our community always shows up and it will be immensely rewarding when we are able to complete this project and to watch all of the joy this will bring to our students.”

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