‘Principal on the Shelf’ brings joy to local elementary school

LEXINGTON, Tenn. — A Lexington elementary school principal decided to do something a little different to get his students in the holiday spirit.

Students at Caywood Elementary are getting the treat of seeing a real life Elf on the Shelf this week.

“Here at Caywood, we want to build a positive and loving culture for our students and staff, so I actually stole this idea. There’s a principal in North Carolina that was doing this and I thought it would be a great idea to incorporate here at Caywood,” said Caywood Elementary Principal Paden Buckley.

Buckley has been appearing in random places throughout the school, doing numerous tasks to resemble a real Elf on the Shelf.

“Our first grade students already do Elf on the Shelf, and Ms. Teresa Gair, one the para pros, she moves it around each morning, and I just thought it would be a great idea to bring ‘Principal on the Shelf’ just to give the students something to look forward to each day,” Buckley said.

He says he feels this will uplift students during this time of COVID-19.

“Kids have been through so much, teachers, staff. It’s just been a difficult and hard time, and just bringing a little bit of joy makes the difference in the world,” Buckley said. “And if kids love coming to school, then learning will take place.”

Buckley says students’ response has been positive.

“That’s the principal, so they’ve been very excited seeing me. I was on the roof earlier today. I was on the time capsule out there in the hall, posing as the kindergarteners walked to lunch,” Buckley said. “And at first they were kind of shocked and a little scared because I was kind of hidden, and then they were like, ‘We know you, you’re the principal.'”

Buckley says he’s extremely afraid of heights, but getting on the roof was worth it to see the smiles on students’ faces.

Students were overly excited, and obviously there’s no better way to get through school than to have your principal dress as Elf on the Shelf.

Buckley says he hopes to make this a tradition and even get staff involved with dress-ups as well.

Categories: Local News, News