'Tell me you have the coolest Principal without telling me you have the coolest Principal,' the text overlay on the video reads.
Beth Hoeing, the principal of Southwestern Elementary School in central Indiana, is an expert when it comes to spreading the holiday spirit at school. In a TikTok video now going viral across social media, Hoeing is seen dressed as the "Elf on the Shelf” and posing in different parts of the school building. The clip shows her hiding in all sorts of silly places for the students to spot. A text overlay on the video reads: "Tell me you have the coolest Principal without telling me you have the coolest Principal."
In the video, Hoeing is first seen greeting children beside a Christmas tree as they walk by. The next shot shows her duct-taped onto the wall, while another features her gift wrapping a fellow faculty member by the photocopy machines. She is also seen holding a trophy inside a glass display and sleeping on top of a serving station in the cafeteria. The video gained more than 13 million views and 1.9 million likes within six days of being posted. People on the internet were surprised to see a principal so involved with children’s activities. One TikTok user commented: "It's so nice to see a principal that takes the time to interact and be a part of the kids' daily activities." Another wrote: "Arghh the positive happy wonderful impact that this has on the kids and probably her as well. Makes me happy!! THISSSSS is what we need more of." A third said, "Please thank her for her EXTRA effort and love for your kiddos. She's surely a good one!!!"
Some also shared similar experiences with their principals. "Bro, my principal dressed as an elf and sat on top of the roof with a ukulele one year," commented one TikTok user while another wrote: "My principal did this in high school too and he sat on the roof but then got mad when a student walked by and tickled his feet.”
TikTok user @ahhhlieeee also shared a follow-up to the original video. In it, Hoeing is seen sitting on the roof of a red fire truck waving at passersby, and later sitting on top of the school while pretending to fish. She is also seen driving a miniature car and sitting on a fake snow hill to sled down.
The "Elf on the Shelf" story is based on a 1974 tale when Carol Aebersold put up a pixie elf at home and told her three children that the elf would keep watch over them and report it to Santa Claus. 30 years later, Aebersold and Chanda Bell wrote "The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition," illustrated by Coë Steinwart, reports TODAY. The book and the Elf toy came out in Marietta, Georgia, in 2005.
Hoeing told WTHR that her efforts are all about giving back to the children. She said, "It's magic. You know, being in an elementary school all the time is magic, but especially at Christmas and to be able to watch that magic it's excitement. It's all for the kids. As long as we're doing something for the kids and the kids are enjoying it, that's all that matters."