Boss' Day Surprise

Peebles principal joins her staff in a dance at surprise party
By: Todd Martin
With all due respect to all the principals out there, Peebles Elementary School’s staff believes theirs is the very best.
In fact, they printed it on a T-shirt – “My Principal is the Best.”
When school counselors Vanessa Trejo and Judy Hughes started talking in August about how to honor their amazing principal, Carol Correa, they figured the school’s administrative team would purchase shirts to wear on Boss’ Day, which is also the middle of National Principal Month.
But, Trejo said, word got out and the whole staff wanted to buy a shirt. In fact, some Peebles staff members purchased shirts for other staff members.
“It was really a beautiful thing,” the counselor said. “I had people coming to buy shirts and someone else had already bought their shirt.”
It was also a beautiful thing when Correa arrived at work Friday, “Boss’ Day,” before the sun had risen and saw her leadership team members wearing their “My Principal is the Best” shirts.
Then, she realized it wasn’t just the administrators, it was teachers, paraprofessionals, classroom aides, cafeteria workers, the crossing guards – it was everyone.
“When she came in today, it was still dark out and she saw everyone clapping,” said Trejo. “She went on her knees bawling.”
Just after dismissal on the scheduled early out day, Correa walked into the cafeteria for another surprise.
Her staff members, still in their shirts, cheered her as music played and they danced in her honor.
Also, sneaking around the other end of the cafeteria, Correa’s 22-year-old daughter Patricia Correa greeted her mom with a hug.
“Surprising. Overwhelming.” The principal tried to explain her response. “It’s been an incredible day. It’s amazing.”
Part of the principal’s overwhelming emotion came from her knowledge at how hard her teachers and other staff members are working this year.
“They are putting in such an incredible amount of work,” she said, “and still they maintain this great spirit and comradery.”
“She deserves it,” said Trejo. “She works so hard for us. We know her students and her staff are her priority.”
Now in her third year as principal at Peebles, Correa said the school’s former principal, Gayle Dudley introduced her to the staff like a member of the family. “From day one, they embraced me,” she said. “Mrs. Dudley introduced me and talked about sharing our heart with kids.”
Before the principal left home for the day, she was writing in a diary, she said she was inspired to begin listing all she was grateful for, including being the principal at Peebles and working alongside such dedicated colleagues.