WADSWORTH — Tuesday was a chilly night for Wadsworth Middle School Principal Eric Jackson and Assistant Principal Dave Ryder as the pair spent the entire night on the school’s roof to fulfill a wager with students.
Both principals agreed that if students brought in at least 10,000 nonperishable food items during the district’s annual food drive, the school’s leaders would sleep on the roof.
Well, the kids did their job and Tuesday evening Jackson and Ryder climbed to the roof.
“It is the Salvation Army canned food drive that we run through our entire district of Wadsworth city schools,” Jackson said Wednesday.
“(The bet) was a way to try and drum up some publicity inside of our school, some support inside of our school.”
Jackson said they had to get approval from Superintendent Andrew Hill and Assistant Superintendent Gabe Tudor.
“I think they kind of looked at us like, really?” Jackson said.
Students remained “cautiously optimistic” that the leaders of their school would follow through on the agreement. During the week after Thanksgiving with the idea that Jackson and Ryder would brave the elements, students donated a total of 10,166 food items.
“I think there were two components, I don’t know if they thought we were going to do it and then B, that we were going to stay on the roof all night that maybe we were going to come in,” he said.
At exactly 2:25 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, students watched as Jackson and Ryder ascended to the school’s roof. They didn’t come back down until 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
“We released a couple minutes early so (the students) could see us going on the roof and we had a lot of guests last night, a lot of followers on Instagram,” Jackson said.
Jackson said temperatures reportedly dipped down to be around 26 degrees, but the wind chill made it feel much colder.
“The wind kept buzzing through there which made it chilly, and then because of it being chilly we woke up every once in a while,” he said.
Jackson said he is proud of Wadsworth Middle School students for donating so many items during the food drive, especially considering there are only two grade levels in the building.
“We felt that it was pretty amazing, and that is why we really wanted to raise the stakes a little bit and really just reward the community and the kids for supporting the cause,” he said.