Snoggin’ a hog

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 14, 2018

Students were more than happy to gather together in the cold weather outside at Carrollton Elementary School on Monday to see their principal, Robert Brennan, keep his end of a bargain.

Brennan told his students that he would kiss a pig if they reached their fundraising goal for the United Way campaign. They set their goal at $2,500, and the students managed to raise a total of $3,100.

The idea of kissing a pig wasn’t completely original for the United Way campaign. Brennan had promised to kiss a pig if they met a goal for a PTA fundraiser. Unfortunately, they didn’t reach their goal, but the students didn’t forget the idea.

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“We didn’t meet the PTA goal, but when the United Way campaign started, I told them to hold out the same carrot,” Brennan said. “They ended up exceeding the set goal.”

Brennan has always been adamant about giving fun incentives for goals, and he makes sure those incentives aren’t physical items.

“I think it makes this fun for them. Toys break, but they’ll remember me kissing a pig,” Brennan said. “I want them to enjoy being here.”

Brennan had the students gather at the bus ramp to come see him kiss the tiny pig. Daniel Judkins, the Isle of Wight County Public Schools farm manager, brought Pebbles to the school to receive a smooch from the principal.

The students waited, then squealed and erupted in laughter after Brennan gave Pebbles a couple of pecks on her head.

Motivating his students with silly activities has always been a part of Brennan’s life as an educator. He also kissed a pig at Creekside Elementary School, and he’s even gone so far as to shave his head for the cause.

“When I started at Greenbrier Christian, I shaved my head. I won’t ever do that again,” Brennan said. “It’s all about making it fun. If it’s just about the money, it doesn’t make sense to the kids. When it’s fun, the kids are all jazzed about it.”

Brennan just wants to make an impact on the students at his school, because he can’t remember this kind of an impact from his school days.

“I can’t remember any administrators until about high school, and I wanted to be the one to remember and make an impact,” Brennan said.