Wylie High School principal Virdie Montgomery took leadership a notch higher when he made personal visits to the graduating class of 2020 - with a Snickers in hand.
With high schools across the country shutting down due to the ongoing pandemic, many high school seniors will miss out on big moments like attending prom or collecting their diplomas at graduation. Of course, students themselves are upset about this fact, but some faculty members are too. Virdie Montgomery, the principal at Wylie High School in Wylie, Texas, is one of them. Instead of letting his graduating class of 2020 feel down about the current circumstances, the dedicated principal decided to travel 800 miles in order to personally visit each and every graduate and make them feel special, WFAA reports.
Principal Montgomery has always been committed to school spirit. Once, he even put on an elf-on-the-shelf costume and perched himself on top of the school marquee. Therefore, he didn't want his Wylie High School Pirates feeling disappointed that they weren't in class or may not have a graduation. Though he has been updating his students every day through YouTube videos, a series he likes to call "corona chronicles," he felt there was more he could do. Montgomery, who considers the student body and faculty of his high school one big family, thus came up with the brilliant plan to meet every single graduate and pep them up a little bit.
"We're a school of great tradition," the principal stated. "I get emotional real easy with my kids. And I just didn't feel like I was doing enough. It just seemed like the right thing to do." The "right thing," according to him, was packing his wife and himself into their car and visiting each graduate of the senior class - with a Snickers in hand. He wanted to make the joke that one day, we'd all look back on this moment and "snicker." That's exactly what he did - more than 600 times. In a span of 12 days, the couple drove over 800 miles to visit about 636 addresses to find all 612 high school seniors.
"[My wife] told me I was crazy," Montgomery shared. "I tell you what, that first day, at the end of the first day it felt like I had made a mistake. Because it was hard." However, his mind quickly changed when he saw the impact he was having on the members of his student body. He said, "It just gave me a peace about it. It's hard to put to words. It's rewarding just to know you did it." From his students to their parents, everyone felt quite special that he took on this act of kindness. Savannah Skinner, one of the Wylie seniors he visited, loved the surprise - and the Snickers joke. "I'm a sucker for puns and stuff and that was perfect, that was right up my alley," she affirmed. "I'm not always in the best mood because it's been a while since I've seen anybody. So, it just brought a smile to my face and it made me really happy."
Savannah's father Kent Skinner said, "Oh my gosh, yes, it's unbelievable." "I think it was awesome," another Wylie parent Gayle Talley added. "I think it was awesome. He's a very dedicated principal for sure." Principal Montgomery hopes the last gift he gets to give the Wylie class of 2020 is a graduation ceremony so they can enjoy "some semblance of a normal celebration." Those plans, however, are still in the pipeline. He only had one thing to say about his seniors: "I'm so, so, so, so very proud of them the way they've handled everything." Whether they have the ceremony or not, one thing's for sure: Wylie High School has the best principal ever.