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Principal gets her just desserts

Nautilus Elementary principal Cindy Black laughs while a student tops her with whipped cream during an assembly Monday.  - Margo Horner/The Mirror
Nautilus Elementary principal Cindy Black laughs while a student tops her with whipped cream during an assembly Monday.
— image credit: Margo Horner/The Mirror

Nautilus Elementary principal Cindy Black will do just about anything to get her students to read.

A few years ago, that meant kissing a pig.

On Monday, it meant allowing students to slather her with chocolate syrup, sprinkles and whipped cream.

Black became a human ice cream sundae as a reward for the students at Nautilus, who read a combined total of more than 2 million minutes this school year as part of the Read and Lead program sponsored by the PTA.

It was possibly the most minutes of any previous year at Nautilus, Black said.

“Anything that we can do to get them kind of jazzed up or excited to keep on reading, I’ll do,” Black said. “Just so long as I don’t have to shave my head.”

The top readers from each classroom were given a topping to pour on Black while the remaining 450 students watched.

Fifth-grader Mariyah Vongsaveng, the top reader in the school with more than 42,000 minutes, said she was thrilled to participate in the human sundae assembly.

To achieve the most minutes in the school, Vongsaveng said she spent many nights staying up two hours past her bedtime.

“I like reading under the blanket with a flashlight,” she said.

She estimates that she has read a total of more than 70 books this year.

“I think it’s better than playing outside,” she said.

The PTA moms were a huge motivator in reading this year, Vongsaveng said. “We had our Read and Lead moms and they always gave us a pep talk.”

Contact Margo Hoffman: mhoffman@fedwaymirror.com.

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