Real class: Graduating seniors give up trip to donate money to cancer-stricken principal

Members of a New Hampshire high school’s senior class made a grand gesture of selflessness when they learned their principal had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.


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The graduating class of about 45 seniors, at Profile Junior-Senior High School in Bethlehem had been planning a four-day trip to a resort in New York state’s Adirondacks, but made the quick decision to shift their priorities when they heard the news about Principal Courtney Vashaw’s health, WMUR 9 News reported.

“We decided to not go on our senior class trip this year and donate all of our funds to your cause,” Ian Baker, a senior told his principal.

The students presented Vashaw with the nearly $8,000 they had been raising for their trip to help with medical bills, according to WMUR.

She was stunned.

“It is very hard for me to accept help, and I have no idea what to say to you,” a visibly moved Vashaw said.

Knowing she would be needing to take time off work, Vashaw felt she had to tell the students about her condition. According to WMUR, the gift came less than one week after her announcement and was decided by a unanimous vote.

“She’s very caring, very selfless, and we wanted to be selfless too,” said Baker.

“She is one of the strongest, most determined women I know and if it can happen to her, you know anything can happen to anyone,” senior Hunter Leighton said.

Vashaw said she has tried to teach the students that it’s important to do “something bigger than yourself,” according to WMUR.

She just never imagined it would be for herself.

“They are a pretty remarkable, fun, astonishing group of people,” Vashaw said.

As far as her students are concerned, the $8,000 was just the beginning. They say they will be working on more fundraising for their principal.

Christopher Sirois, senior class president said, “Every one of us has a connection with her, and she has given so much to us that we just wanted to give back.”

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