BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Students at Popp’s Ferry Elementary ditched their classrooms for a little while without the principal’s permission.
They’re not in trouble though, since it was a surprise for Principal Todd Boucher.
The kids paraded through the hallways carrying noisemakers and posters to celebrate Boucher being named as Mississippi’s 2018 National Distinguished Principal.
He was presented with a crown and a cape to wear during his march down the aisle of cheering students. “They dressed me at the beginning of the parade, these are my royal robes,” Boucher explained as he showed off his regal attire. “There’s a standing joke that I’m the king and Popp’s Ferry is my kingdom.”
The National Association for Elementary School Principals first told Boucher that he won back in August. He is now getting ready Washington D.C., where he will be honored alongside other distinguished elementary school principals from across the country.
A surprise of this scale takes a lot of planning. “We had a lot of help from our specials team, our librarians and our music teacher to get everything organized," said Peggy Woolley, a records clerk at the school.
He said he’s touched by the all love and support of everyone at the school.
“I think I have a great relationship with the students and the teachers. The reality is, I wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for the students and the teachers and what they accomplished in the last several years.”
Boucher took the top job at Popp’s Ferry Elementary five years ago and is credited with lifting the school’s state rating from a C to an A in just two years.