Student serves as Fairland East principal-for-the-day

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 24, 2021

Winner came from auction to raise funds for playground

ROME TOWNSHIP — Typically, Abbie Pannell works as principal for Fairland East Elementary School, but on Wednesday, she was serving in the assistant principal position.

That was because Lacey Ballard, of the second grade, had taken over the job as school’s principal.

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An auction took place in the district on Oct. 1, Pannell said, and the principal-for-the-day position at the school, which serves kindergarten through second grade, as well as a preschool, was one of the prizes.

Funds from the auction go toward the Fairland East Playground Project’s mission to replace the school’s existing playground, which is nearly three decades old.

“It’s time for it to go,” Pannell said of the aging equipment, which was installed by the community.

Other prizes included an opportunity for a student to be fire chief for a day, a night at a condominium, donated by a community member, and a chance to be principal-for-the-day.

Altogether, $5,500 was raised, Pannell said.

While serving in the top position at the school on Wednesday, Ballard helped with safety drills, lunch and preparing materials for teachers.

“She also shared her fun and gave her grade an extra playtime,” Pannell said.

Ballard said her favorite part of the day was making announcements in the morning and doing the Pledge of Allegiance.

She said she knows what she wants to be when she grows up.

“A softball coach and a teacher who goes on to be a principal,” she said.

Pannell said everything is approved for a new playground and it will be ready to take shape once fundraising is completed.

She said the hope is it will be installed in summer 2022.