PROVO — Several years ago, Provo High decided to go big with its food can drive. A key element was faculty members buying into the concept challenging their students to bring cans. And besides the good feelings that came with being charitable, students were rewarded when they met certain thresholds.
Besides seeing their teachers and administrators taking part in what could be considered highly embarrassing activities like sumo wrestling, losing a beard that is decades old, singing with questionable quality, doing bad dancing manuevers and being a victim of a poorly done cosmetic makeover, the students were further rewarded with a special musical performance by The Strike, one of the top local bands.
When the students made that fully committed effort several years ago to raise 40,000 cans, it was up to the faculty of Provo High to deliver the cans when the food drive was completed.
Each year, the students have upped their goals and upped their performance, this year bringing in 77,862 cans for the Utah County Food Bank in Provo.
The teachers also have incentives and are recognized at the assembly for their efforts.
This year, English teacher Kristin Pierce led the way as her classes gathered 6,764 cans. In second place was athletic director and financial literacy teacher Kirk Chambers with 3,895 cans while child development teacher Camille Williams was third with 3,544 cans.
Todd Smith's student body and class officers, along with Brian Preece's social studies classes, load the bins and clean up after the assembly is over.
The student body officers also bring leadership and inspiration to the cause. This year, several student body government officers spent 24 hours in a display case where creature comforts such as their cellphones or pillows were taken away based on donations made by the students.
Brian Preece is a 28-year teaching veteran, the last 24 years spent at Provo High School after five years at West High School.