News 8 Exclusive: School surprise. Community shocks principal with parade for a job well done

News 8 Exclusive

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Schools may be closed, but that did not stop a loud show of school spirit outside The Barnum School in Bridgeport.

An enthusiastic group of cheering students, teachers, parents, and families held a surprise car parade for the first-year principal, Mrs. Christine Booth.

She was visibly moved as a line up of cars drove by her with students sticking their faces out of the windows holding signs thanking her for a job well done at the school.

“Oh my God! What is this?” she exclaimed as she first caught sight of what was happening.

Her staff was able to gather everyone together by keeping her inside the building at a fake meeting. One by one cars came filled with people she’s touched in her first year at the school.

Teachers and other members of the school community telling News 8 she’s turned around morale among staff and teachers — even during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has driven everyone to the new normal of digital learning and teaching.

“She really got baptized this year with the pandemic and she’s been very flexible with the teachers and supportive of the parents,” said Mildred Tomassini.

News 8 was the only TV station there covering the happy salute. Maria Loesher, a teacher there, told us she deserves the positive attention.

“Her motto is One Team, One Dream,” Loesher wrote to News 8. “Big focus on team building and supporting each other. And through the school closure she had been amazing!!! She’s working countless hours to be sure every kid has access to needed technology and learning materials, constantly fielding questions from parents and staff, opening the building for us when we needed to make packets, and overall just very positive and inspiring. Principal Appreciation Day happened in the midst of the craziness of the school closure, so as a staff we didn’t do anything for her that day.”

When asked what she thought of the surprise, Mrs. Booth answered: “I love my school, my kids…..this is overwhelming.”

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