Chemainus students helping the food bank

Students at Chemainus Secondary School are vying for a chance to sit in the principal's seat for a day while supporting their community.

Students at Chemainus Secondary School are vying for a chance to sit in the principal’s seat for a day while supporting their community at the same time.

Initiated by the school’s Leadership class, the ‘Principal for a Day’ contest is a fundraiser for the Harvest House Food Bank. For every 10 non-perishable items a student brings in, their name gets entered into the draw Wednesday (Dec. 14) and one lucky winner will report to the principal’s office the next day for duties.

Conversely, principal Sian Peterson will give up her top spot to the winner and become student for a day, attending all of their classes.

“I’m feeling great about it with a few exceptions, I’m kind of scared about dance class,” she said. “I didn’t think that was part of the job description.”

“I don’t want to have to write a math 12 test either, but other than that, I think it will be great fun.”

Peterson will be required to take notes, write exams and participate in classroom activities.

“Hopefully I won’t get my cellphone taken away,” she laughed.

The winning student will be supervised by the school’s vice-principal, Mike Martin, while learning the administration side of things — dealing with students, paperwork and more.

“They’ll take a phone call or two,” said Peterson. “There’s a lot of things that happen day to day where you just help students to get stuff. It’s a lot of multi-tasking, a lot of communication and a lot of making sure you’re in the pulse of all the activity so that kids are there having a good time learning and being safe.”

The winner will be drawn Wednesday at the school’s first annual turkey luncheon — where every student will get a turkey bunwich, and there will be festive activities such as holiday tunes and an appearance by Santa.

Leadership instructor Jennie Hittinger said the class hopes to fill one of the school gym’s basketball trolleys full of food by Wednesday.

“Four days into it and we’re three-quarters full already,” she said.

Peterson said the initiative is a good way to end the school semester before winter break.

“It’s been good for them. Walking down the hall, I’ve heard students say, ‘I brought in 60 items today!'” she said. “And anything you can do to help school spirit is fabulous.”

She would like to see a similar drive conducted in April, when the food bank is most in need.

“We might try it again, but next time it will be ‘Vice-Principal for a Day’,” she said.