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A Century of Days: Cooper Elementary Students and Staff Celebrate Red Letter Day - from The Messenger

February 7, 2020

For anyone visiting Thursday, it would have been pretty easy to reach the conclusion that teaching must be really stressful work for the staff at Cooper Elementary School.

At least judging by the number of canes, gray hairs and pairs of support hose worn with pink slippers.

For school nurse Juli Springer, who defended her office by shaking a cane at anyone walking by, it was all good fun and a neat way to celebrate the passing of the first 100 days of school.

Her centenarian look drew varied reactions.

“Some of them acted like it wasn’t me,” she said. “I told them I was a sub. One of them asked me are you the nurse today or are you the grandma?”

girl with wig dressed like she is 100 years old

Springer enjoyed it.

“It’s lots of fun,” she said. “I love dress up days.”

One student made it past the cane for his daily medication.

“How old do you think I am?” she asked him.

Her costume was indeed pretty convincing.

“100,” he said.

Jersey Woodruff, 10, a fourth-grader, hobbled down the hall with a cane much too big for her.

She had a ready answer to some basic math. For instance, how many years till she is 100?

“Ninety,” she said.

Days left in the school year?  teacher dressed like she is 100 years old

“Eighty,” she said.

The cane was apparently ready at hand.

“I just had it at home,” she said.

The numbers were a little more difficult in Jennifer Yoder’s kindergarten class.

Student Jillian Wiseman, 6, who spent a bit of time arranging her gray wig just so, wasn’t sure about how long it would be till she was 100.

“I don’t know,” she said. “A lot.”

A classmate guessed 200 and another, 150.

Mac Marsh got it right.

“Ninety-four,” he said.

Yoder, too, dressed for the day, but she went for a younger look. She didn’t look a day over 95.

She explained one of her fashion faux pas to the students — one critical to indeed appear to be 100. girl with cane dressed like she is 100 years old

“They wear open toes shoes with panty hose,” she said.

Of course, not just any open toe shoes but pink slippers — with open toes.  

Foster Grandmother Joan Gilleland got a nice crown with the number 100 on it.

“It’s fantastic,” she said. “The first thing they asked me is if I wanted a crown.”

One staff member did tease her about it.

“They asked if that’s your birthday hat,” she said.

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