Ugly Sweater Contest serves as farewell to principal

Jordan to take over at Rockingham Middle School on Jan. 5

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Dr. Wendy Jordan, left, receives a hug while on stage after the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Dr. Wendy Jordan, left, receives a hug while on stage after the Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery – more than 300 pics!
* Video 1 – contest
* Video 2 – farewell to Dr. Jordan

ELLERBE — Things turned ugly Friday morning inside the Mineral Springs Elementary School auditorium.

Turns out that’s exactly how it was supposed to be. Dr. Wendy Jordan, outgoing school principal, decided the second annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest must go on even if she is set to take the reins of Rockingham Middle School on Jan. 5. It’s a promotion announced Dec. 12 and reported on PeeDeePost.com the same day.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Marshall Davis, second in line, heads down the aisle to officially enter the second annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Marshall Davis, second in line, heads down the aisle to officially enter the second annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.

Before saying her goodbyes, however, first Jordan had to coordinate the contest — a student body favorite in which their screams and shouts helped to influence the four-person panel of judges — Cathy Wilson, Emily Tucker, Keith Parsons and Lee Berry.

Fourth grade teacher Tommy Shelton tried to persuade the audience — and the judges — that he should be their top pick. After starting a rally that began and ended with his own students, Shelton high-fived students and teachers — then went before the judges themselves instead of going on stage. He took hands with the Ellerbe mayor, Berry, and embraced Wilson, a former Board of Education member.

His efforts nearly paid off, as the judges declared Shelton the second-place winner. Third place went to Jessica Davis, a pre-school teacher, while second grade teacher Marshall Davis won the top prize. Marshall Davis might have had his own sway over the judges in the form of a comedy routine.

“What do you call a crate of ducks,” asked Davis, donning a sweater adorned with stuffed ducks. “A box of quackers.”

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

He wasn’t through.

What time to ducks wake up?

“At the quack of dawn.”

What is a duck’s favorite fruit?

“Strawberries.”

The festivities ended with the teachers on stage leading the students in a chorus of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” As the heart rates were elevated and the smiles were wide, there was only one thing that could bring them down — that being Jordan’s promotion to take over at Rockingham Middle School.

As staff began setting up the projection screen on stage, first grade teacher Amy Terry glanced towards the ground.

“Uh oh,” she said with a knowing look. “Here come the tears.”

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Terry might have been the first, but certainly wasn’t the only one to shed tears in gratitude and appreciation for the impact Jordan has had on their careers and the lives of students at the Ellerbe elementary school. Kate Smith, an assistant principal at Rockingham Middle School, will take over for Jordan when students return from winter break.

In an eight-minute slide show set to music, the lights were darkened — in part for a better view, in part to help hide exactly who was sniffling — to show a rich photographic montage of Jordan and others at school in various costumes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed in: Arts & Entertainment, Education, Ellerbe/Norman, Featured News, Latest Headlines

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