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Students meet fundraising goal, principal gets slimed

by: Nick Fochtman Students laughed and cheered as Deer Creek Elementary School Principal Tiffany Wiencken was covered in “slime” Wednesday.

TIGARD - When students at Deer Creek Elementary School were challenged to raise $15,000 in their annual jog-a-thon, they were told they'd receive a special surprise if they made that goal:

They'd get to cover their principal in gooey, green slime.

That kind of incentive got kids jogging, and students raised more than $18,000.

On Wednesday, Wiencken was forced to pay up.

'I really didn't know what to think,' said Wiencken, who is in her first year as principal at the elementary school. 'Is this a good thing that everybody wants to slime me?'

The annual jog-a-thon usually only raises a few thousand dollars, but the thought of slime spurred the students to raise more than double their record sales, Wiencken said.

In the weeks leading up to the big event, Wiencken kept a brave face.

'I've had teachers and students come up to me and ask me if I'm OK with it,' she said. 'I said, 'I'm going for it. The kids went all out, so I'm going to go all out.''

The $18,000 will go to the Parent Support Organization, which helps fund afterschool classes, repair musical instruments and pay for a teacher's aide.

'In the past, the jog-a-thon (money) has gone specifically to things like playground equipment,' Wiencken said. 'But given the economy, we need it just to keep the school going.'

Green posters and fliers were put up around school, showing the students how close they were to 'Slime Day.'

'All of the teachers and parents and kids were talking it up and being silly with it,' Wiencken said. 'At the same time knowing it was really important for our school.'

In the school's gym Wiencken, sitting in a large kiddie pool, was covered in the slime - a mixture of green Jell-O, flour, water and baby shampoo.

'It's part of the fun and craziness of being an elementary school principal,' Weicken said. 'You have to be willing to be very humble and put it out there to help the school do what needs to be done. There are a lot of hard things about this job, especially given the economy, and the state of some families, but this is a fun community builder that gets people laughing and having a good time.'

Plus, Wiencken added, it's something her students will likely remember for a long time.