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Students win bet, turn Schum into human banana split

By Rebecca Burk Ellis / L’Observateur / June 1, 1998

RESERVE – Debbie Schum was transformed from principal of East St. John High School to human banana split Wednesday afternoon in the school’s gym.

Wearing goggles, sitting on a chair in a kiddie pool placed in the middle of the gym, lucky students whose numbers were drawn had the opportunity to pour a banana split ingredient on Schum.

The festivities began with not a few scoops, but a few gallons of vanilla ice cream, followed by bananas, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, nuts and cherries.

The privilege to do this to the principal was an ongoing bet between students and Schum. She told them they could do it if LEAP scores went up again this year.

Last year LEAP scores went up one percentage point and Schum kissed a pig. This year they climbed six percentage points.”I told them they could do it if it only went up one percentage point again,” Schum said.

Although she was about to be coated in sticky ingredients, Schum said she was glad about the improvement and said that it may have even had something to do with her bet with the students.

“This is a tough thing for me to do, but if they can improve just a little bit,” Schum said.

“When the seniors wrote letters to me this year they said they were impressed with my kissing the pig,” Schum added, laughing. “They know we want them to do well.”There are five sections on the LEAP test – social studies, language arts, science, math and writing. Scores went up on each section at East St.John, except for math, which dropped a few percentage points. But Schumis remaining positive.

“We put it in our school improvement plan for next year to improve in math,” she said. “But we feel we have done very well in improving. I’mvery proud of the students in the school.”After students finished covering Schum with the sticky concoction she told them, “I am willing to do that as long as you do what you need to do academically.”

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