612 Selfies Later: Hear How A Principal Honored His School’s Graduating Seniors
He wanted to do something extraordinary to make their year as memorable as possible.
Virdie Montgomery isn't your average high school principal.
Montgomery, or "Verdie" as his students call him, is known as a "school-spirit legend" at Wylie High School, near Dallas, TX – he even dressed up as an elf-on-the-shelf one year and posed on top of the school marquee.
Virdie Montgomery is known as a "school-spirit legend" at Wylie HS in Wylie, TX. Virdie Montgomery/Facebook
In recent weeks, the social media-savvy principal reinstated the school's morning announcements by posting daily YouTube videos; what he calls the 'Corona Chronicles.'
"It's a sense of normalcy, something we do every day," Montgomery told CNN. "And that's really what my students were seeking."
So, when the school was closed in March due to concerns about the coronavirus, he knew he had to make an effort to see his WHS "family."
Montgomery refers to the students at WHS as his 'family.'Virdie Montgomery/Facebook
"I get emotional real easy with my kids," Montgomery said. "And I just didn't feel like I was doing enough. It just seemed like the right thing to do."
So, the self-proclaimed "66-year-old, fat bald principal with the smoking hot wife" decided to visit each and every one of the 612 graduating seniors at their homes.
Wearing a face mask covered with skulls and crossbones (a nod to the school's Pirate mascot) and armed with a huge bag of Snickers bars, Montgomery and his wife jumped in their car and started off on their journey to visit the students.
Montgomery expected the trip to take a few days, but he ended up spending over 80 hours driving over 800 miles to reach the 636 addresses of his students.
Montgomery visited every senior in the 2020 graduating class and posed for selfies with them. Virdie Montgomery/Facebook
"I tell you what, that first day, at the end of the first day it felt like I had made a mistake. Because it was hard," Montgomery admitted.
At each visit Montgomery greeted the seniors with a positive message, took a selfie and left them with a "Dad" joke and a Snickers bar – he said that someday the students will look back on this time and "snicker."
"I delivered that joke nearly 600 times. So it's pretty lame," Montgomery said.
Senior Savannah Skinner said the principal's visit to her home made her day. Virdie Montgomery/Facebook
Montgomery wrapped up his trip last week by posting a video to his Facebook page of some of his recent visits.
"The most valuable gift any of us can give anyone that isn't replaceable is time," Montgomery tweeted about his epic journey. "Where one spends one's time says a lot about what they value. My wife spent 80 hours driving me 800 miles over the last 12 days to visit seniors all the while navigating. I love her so much."
Montgomery and his "smoking hot wife" Pamela completed the journey to see all of the seniors in 12 days. Virdie Montgomery/Facebook