Staff spends night on roof

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Britney Tabor/DRC
Myers Middle School Assistant Principal Randy King and academic counselor Howard Higginbotham set up a tent on the school roof Monday. King, Higginbotham and seventh-grade reading teacher Matthew Terrill agreed to spend the night on the school roof after students raised at least $500 for United Way of Denton County.

School employees make good on wager with students

SHADY SHORES — An assistant principal and some staff members at Bettye Myers Middle School made good on a friendly schoolhouse wager Monday, spending the night on the school roof after students met their goal of raising $500 for the United Way of Denton County.

Bracing for the arrival of a stiff cold front, Assistant Principal Randy King, academic counselor Howard Higginbotham and seventh-grade reading teacher Matthew Terrill pitched a tent on the southeast corner of the roof after school let out Monday afternoon. Two other staffers were planning to spend a couple of hours on the roof with the trio on Monday.

They made their way to the roof Monday afternoon with air mattresses, sleeping bags, candy, cookies, soda, Gatorade, a sleeping bag and sweats. They intended to order pizza after nightfall and pick up the Monday Night Football game online. Terrill also planned to bring his acoustic guitar for entertainment.

With no stakes to keep the tent in place, King and Higginbotham hoped a cooler, queen- and twin-size air mattresses and blocks would keep things secured.

“I think it’s going to be fun,” Higginbotham said Monday afternoon.

School employees offered the wager to encourage students to raise money for the United Way. In early October, students were told they could duct-tape King to the school wall during a pep rally if they raised $100 for United Way. They met the goal in two days, according to Principal Angela Ricks. The next day officials upped the ante to $500.

“We really wanted students to be apart of contributing to United Way,” she said. “It’s an exciting process. To see them want to serve their community and do it in a way that’s fun and exciting for them, it’s always fun for us.”

King and the others had planned to begin their night on the roof at about 6 p.m. and stay there until 6 a.m. today. They planned to use the school locker room facilities to clean up before the start of the school day.

King said it was a view many don’t normally get to see.

“Who would have known you can see all the way to [Interstate] 35?” he said. “It will be a nice way to relax and tell stories.”

Students and others were encouraged to follow their night on the roof via Twitter and Instagram using the hash tag “ontheroofbmms.”

The temperature overnight was expected to drop as into the low 40s with wind gusts as high as 30 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service website. If weather conditions worsened overnight, the three said they would move to the school’s air conditioning access room, which is also on the roof.

King said he was looking forward to sleeping on the school’s roof more than students taping him to a wall. He said it’s an experience that allows him to bond with his students.

“Just the fact that they’re talking about it, that’s just an opportunity to get to know them a little bit better,” he said. “It’s a win-win.”

King said he wasn’t surprised that students met their contributing goals.

“The kids are giving. They’re wonderful kids,” he said. “They’re great kids and the kind that I think would do anything for anyone.”

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.


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