When the St. Patrick’s Day parade kicks off today, it will include a young Ponderosa Elementary School student and her favorite principal.
Lucy Tivis, 8, nominated Jerrol Olson to be this year’s Principal on Parade. She said her teacher told her about the contest in class and she thought she would give it a try.
“It paid off,” she said. The announcement was made March 4 at the school by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and Spokane Teachers Credit Union. The honor comes with a $1,000 donation to the school.
Lucy said Olson is a great principal because he is funny, kind, generous, a great role model and honest.
Olson said it was a huge surprise, one the entire staff kept secret until the assembly. It was Olson’s 50th birthday and all the students were wearing black in his honor.
He plans to use the $1,000 to support technology in the school, specifically to help set up wireless connections.
Olson asked Lucy if she knew about the two subjects the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick support and the two of them came up with education and supporting the community.
It’s not Lucy’s first parade – she said she was in one by Appleway Florist once. Olson said he hasn’t been in a parade since his days of playing tuba with the Greenacres Junior High and Central Valley High School bands.
To celebrate this honor, Olson and Lucy were invited to lunch at Anthony’s with the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick with other honorees and the mayors of Spokane and Spokane Valley. Mayor Tom Towey stopped by to say hello to Lucy and the two posed for a picture.
“He was very complimentary of your letter,” Olson told her.
Lucy and her mom have been planning what green they will wear for the parade. She said is looking forward to wearing a green headband, feathers, green earrings and lots of glitter.
It will be a very busy day for her, since after the parade, she’ll be celebrating her birthday, which is March 24, with a party. After that, she’ll attend a second party for someone else.
The two don’t know what kind of car they will be riding in today, but they are busy practicing waving.
“It’s going to be great,” Olson said.