Turns out “Principal Soup,” like revenge, is a dish best served — or at least prepared — cold.
Just ask the Jeffery Elementary School pupils, who “cooked” up the recipe Monday in their cafeteria with Jolene Schneider, principal of rival Whittier Elementary School, as the main ingredient.
Had Whittier pupils won the “Souper Bowl” competition between the two schools by collecting more cans of soup for the Shalom Center, Jeffery Principal Kurt Johnson would have traded places with Schneider and been “souped” by students of nearby Whittier.
“I could have been the soup,” said “Chef” Johnson, as Jeffery pupils filed into the cafeteria and sat cross-legged on the floor, buzzing in excited anticipation. “Instead, I get to make the soup, get to pour the soup on Jolene Schneider. But I could have been the one getting it poured on me.”
The two schools collected a total of 4,075 cans of soup for the non-profit Shalom Center, which gives food and other items to area homeless and other needy people. Jeffery pupils edged out their Whittier counterparts, collecting 2,116 cans to Whittier’s 1,959.
Jeffery’s student body witnessed Schneider being souped in person; Whittier pupils watched in real time via Skype.
Call it a cooking show to end all cooking shows. Or maybe not.
It was about having fun, helping out the less fortunate, and celebrating the combined efforts pupils at both schools to do their part.
Schneider entered the cafeteria to the theme from “Rocky,” clad in what looked like a white haz-mat coat, goggles and a kitchen worker’s elastic cap. She shadow-boxed down a pathway between gleeful pupils and made her way to a chair placed in a kiddie wading pool atop a tarp.
She doffed her outer garb bearing the phrase “Schneider: Taking one for the team,” took her seat and waited to be turned into “Principal Soup.”
Jolie Klawonn’s first-graders and Ray Bishop’s fifth-graders collected the most cans. They got to do the honors, filling large plastic party cups with a cold, magenta-colored, pasta-and-veggie-filled liquid concoction, then pouring the mixture unceremoniously over Schneider from head to stockinged toes.
The cafeteria swelled with students cheering en masse, “Here we go, Schneider, here we go!”
By the time the deed was done, Schneider was thoroughly soaked to the skin, ashiver from the chill liquid, her formerly white clothing turned pink.
As the pupils happily headed back to their classrooms, Schneider peeled off her head cover, removed her goggles and reflected on how it felt to be souped for a good cause.
“I feel honored that our Jeffery and Whittier kids worked together to deliver over 4,000 cans of soup to Shalom Center,” Schneider said, as seriously as she could while dripping bits of pasta, green beans, sweet peas, chopped carrots and gallons of pink muck.
“We like to have a good time going back and forth,” Johnson said. “Jo and I have been doing this for a few years in different competitions. The kids really got into this. When the Shalom Center came to pick up the cans, they said, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of soup.’”
“This isn’t the first time I lost,” Schneider said. “But really the Shalom Center won. And, in the process, the kids had a lot of fun.”