Brave Trio

Edgar Murray Elementary School Counselor Ellen Turner, Principal Larrinda Witt and Assistant Principal Beth Hill, from left, huddle together wrapped in blankets and warm clothing as they spend a late October night on the roof of their school.

The true feel-good story of the year receiving a special honorable mention for 2013 is the Edgar Murray Elementary School administrative team spending a cold night on the roof of their school this fall. The school’s students accepted and exceeded a fund-raising challenge, and their “reward” was having the three women spend the night on the school’s roof.

On a cold Tuesday night toward the end of October, Edgar Murray Elementary School Principal Larrinda Witt, Assistant Principal Beth Hill and Counselor Ellen Turner spent the night outdoors on the roof of their school as the “reward” to their students after the youngsters met a financial challenge for their autumn fund-raiser.

The trio spent about 14 hours on the roof before exiting at about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday for the start of classes that day.

And, the women agreed, the activity was a challenge.

“It was a night to remember, that’s for sure,” Hill said.

Temperatures on that night were some of the chilliest of autumn at the time as lows in some areas reached the upper 30s. Freeze warnings were posted just outside of Franklin County. At times, a brisk breeze blew. Some sprinkles of cold rain also fell.

But, Witt, Hill and Turner were armed with layers of clothing, hats, gloves, sleeping bags, blankets and anything else they could think of to help keep them warm, including a tent erected on the roof by members of the St. Clair Fire Protection District.

The threesome said they probably slept for about three hours. At one point, they said, a goose joined them on the roof.

The women greeted the third- through fifth-graders from the roof on the east side of the school wearing warm clothing and robes as the youngsters arrived the next morning. They then treated that next school day like any other.

At the end of the challenge, Witt used one sentence to sum up the experience she had just shared with her two coworkers.

“We strengthened our friendships and celebrated a school goal with our staff and students.”

Top Quote

The rooftop experience also produced The St. Clair Missourian’s quote of the year, even though it was not an “official” quote used in the newspaper.

When St. Clair Missourian Editor Keith Domke visited the trio to talk with them and take pictures that night, one of the questions he asked was how they were going to try and stay warm during the night in the colder temperatures.

Hill responded by saying, “Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but we’ve got electricity and an electric blanket or two up here.”