Metro Detroit principal spending night on roof after students raise $20,000

Posted at 5:46 AM, Oct 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-20 10:43:38-04

The students at Forest Elementary return to school Friday morning knowing the principal will be a bit tired.

That’s because Principal Steve Vercellino spent the better part of Thursday afternoon, and all of Thursday night, sleeping on the roof after his kids raised more than $20,000. The amazing part is that they raised the money in just three weeks, all of it earmarked for school programs or the library.

“I’m running out of challenges that will stump these kids,” said Vercellino, perched atop his school. “They’re amazing and they rise to the occasion each time.”

In the past Vercellino has challenged the kids to raise funds by promising to eat chocolate covered worms, he’s also committed to performing a song and dance — the kids met his goal for funds raised both times.

“I have no idea what I’ll do next year.”

Students raised money this year by putting on a color run, and taking donations from parents, relatives and community members.

Vercellino told 7 Action News that the students get involved quite a bit, in fact, they were stopping by with parents throughout the evening to make sure he was stocked up on food, and to wish him the best of luck.

He did get a short break from the roof around 4 p.m. Parent-Teacher conferences took place on Thursday meaning he had to stop by the school and greet parents for the first hour, or two, of the event. He returned to the roof around 7 p.m. with his tent, a lamp and some extra warm clothes as the temperatures dipped into the 40s.

“It’s a bit chillier than I thought,” said Vercellino.

The principal plans to go straight back to work from his spot on top of the building once the school day begins.