Princeton Elementary students wave at Principal Justin Cabe, who spent a day on the roof of the school after students exceeded a fundraising goal.

Princeton Elementary students wave at Principal Justin Cabe, who spent a day on the roof of the school after students exceeded a fundraising goal.

Photo provided by Justin Cabe


Principal on the roof a hit at Princeton Elementary

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published October 23, 2018

 Cabe takes a selfie on the roof.

Cabe takes a selfie on the roof.

Photo provided by Justin Cabe

ST. CLAIR SHORES — When teachers tell their students to aim high, they’re usually talking about grades or achievements.

But Princeton Elementary students set their sights extra high this month when their principal, Justin Cabe, took to the roof to celebrate the nearly $41,000 that students raised during the school’s annual fun run.

The school’s Parent-Teacher Organization used to sponsor a dozen or more fundraisers throughout the year, Cabe said, but a few years ago the group decided to move toward having just one fundraiser per year: the fun run.

Parents were so busy that it was getting harder and harder to find volunteers to sort all the items being sold, said PTO President Tracey Pichierri.

She said that the school began with the thought that if every one of the approximately 600 students in the school could raise $50 for the school, it could meet its goal and pay for school T-shirts, buses for field trips, new technology and more.

“The deal is, this is the only fundraiser for the year,” Cabe said. “All of that money stays right here at the school.”

This year, students got to vote on what they would win if they reached their fundraising goal of $35,000. They all involved challenges for Cabe: sitting in a dunk tank, getting a pie to the face or sleeping on the roof of the school overnight.

The students picked principal on the roof, but Cabe said that it was his wife’s suggestion that he spend the entire day on the roof, in effect being grounded to the roof for the day.

“It was great. They loved it,” Pichierri said.

“I set up a desk on one end of the building so I could oversee recess,” Cabe said. “Kids were throwing footballs to me on the roof. I did all my greetings from the roof. At the end of the day, PTO hooked me up with 20 pounds of candy” to throw to students from the roof.

“It was cold, but it was fun. It was a nice day, and the kids and the families seemed like they really got a good kick out of it.”

Pichierri said that the money raised at the annual fun run pays for events like the Fall Fun Fest, Muffins with Mom, Donuts with Dad, a Grandparents Day celebration, an ice cream social and one grade-level T-shirt each year for each child. It also pays for school buses for field trips, for any student to go on a field trip who can’t afford to or anything else they need, for teacher reimbursements, money to start a robotics team at the school, to beautify the halls and, this year, 30 new Google Chromebook laptops for students to use, as well as new projectors.

Other elementary schools in the district also host fun runs, according to Debbie DePape in the Superintendent’s Office. The other schools each raised about $20,000 during their events this year.

Cabe said that he’s grateful for the hard work of families at Princeton in reaching their goal.

“This is our third year of raising over $40,000,” Cabe said. “It’s just nice that they’ve been showing their support over the last few years.

“I’m very grateful for the constant support from our families and community. Lakeview, Princeton is really a great place to work and grow and be.”